Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Tag: prayer

A New Year’s Benediction


May we go into 2017 with our arms, hands, eyes and hearts open so that we don’t miss a single thing God has for us this year.

May we shed any baggage from the previous year, lightening our loads as we cast all of our cares on Him to be swallowed up by the unfathomable depths of His love.

May we stop fixating on the unknowable future and start living our right-now lives, appreciating and enjoying the blessings that are right in front of us, no longer missing out on the present good because we’re too distracted with anticipation of what’s to come.

May we learn to relax and savor the journey as we trust Him with our destination.

May we pursue Him with total abandon, trusting Him without reservation.

May we let our roots sink way down deep into His love so that we may stand firm and walk confidently knowing that we have nothing to fear because He loves us.

May we reflect His grace and glory and bring Him praise as we live fully and richly in the present, letting ourselves be filled with the abundance that Jesus came to give us.

May we loosen our hold on this life and hold tightly to Him instead.

May we let go and rest, and know that He is God, and He’s got this, and He’s got us. And He’ll never let us go.

This we pray in Jesus’ name.



PS: Find more encouragement for your soul at these linkups:

Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart

Missional Women’s Faith Filled Fridays

#DreamTogether at God-Sized Dreams

PPS: Looking for some a-MAZ-ing tools and resources to help you be more productive, write better and/or generally do life while keeping your sanity? I’ve got the goods — sign up to receive Daydreamer Dispatches, a once- or twice-a-month newsletter from yours truly, and you’ll automatically receive a super-sekrit link to My Absolute Must-Have, Can’t Live Without Tools and Resources list! Click here to get your link!

JeanA Jesus girl through and through, Jean Marie Bauhaus is on a journey of healing and rediscovering who God purposefully created her to be and figuring out how to do life within that context. She’s the wife of Matt and mom to a crew of four-legged dependents, all of whom make their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jean counts coffee, dark chocolate and a yarn addiction among her vices. She’s the author of Restless Spirits, a family-friendly paranormal romance/mystery now available from Vinspire Publishing. You can learn more about her novels and short fiction at


The Hard Work of Rest

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.Last week was a doozy. My husband had surgery on Thursday, and all week leading up to that was filled with appointments and errands and preparations. Our routines were completely upturned, we both had mild anxiety about the procedure, and as if that wasn’t enough to stress us out, I began the week with a sore throat and had to deal with all of the above while feeling achy, run-down and struggling to breathe.

It felt like everything I’ve been saying here about rest and grace and slowing down went out the window as we lapsed back into survival mode.

The thing that’s hardest about survival mode, or one of the things, anyway, is getting out of it once the crisis has passed. In a lot of ways, I’m still struggling to completely climb my way out of this mode after a long, drawn-out season of hardship and grief. It started nearly eight years ago with the loss of a good job. This was followed fairly shortly by back-to-back miscarriages, and we had just enough time to catch our breath from that before both of my in-laws passed away in rapid succession. Then we managed to go a whole year without anything devastating happening before my website business went belly up and left us in dire straits.

I could probably write dozens of blog posts about all of the ways God provided for us and sustained us during this time, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was stressful, and that kind of chronic stress, drawn out over a period of years, isn’t something you can just turn off once things are better.

And things have been better, for a few years now. Not perfect by any means, but better. Even so, I still struggle with anxiety sometimes. God used this long period of hardship to bring me to a place of surrender, of learning to be completely dependent on Him instead of trying to exert control over my life, but it’s been a long, slow process of learning, healing and yielding, and I’m not completely there yet. I may never be completely there in this life. I’m still at a point when any kind of crisis or stressful situation, even when I know it’s temporary, puts me right back in that place where I’m walking around with my entire body clenched like a fist and my gut constantly churns with a vague sense of dread.

It hasn’t been as bad this time, but it was a struggle. It takes effort to rest in the Lord. It takes mindfulness to hold onto His peace. Rest and peace are there in these stressful, anxious times, but we have to consciously reach for them and fight to hold on. We do this through prayer, through making time to just be in God’s presence, and by keeping our minds steeped in the truth of His word.

It also takes trust and letting go. Letting go of our own efforts to control the situation. Trusting that HE is in control and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to, and that no matter what the outcome, He’ll be with you, strengthening and sustaining you, holding you and carrying you.

One thing this long season of hardship and healing has taught me is that the more I’m able to loosen my grip on life, the more rest and peace I have, and the more He’s able to move and establish His plan for my life, which is so much better than anything I planned. I keep learning to get out of His way.

Still, old habits die hard sometimes, and it can be easy to forget what we’ve learned and lapse back into old patterns. Lord, help us when we do so, making us mindful and reminding us that You are in control and it’s not our job to fix things or hold things together. Our job is to trust you and draw close to you for rest and peace. You are our battle fighter, and You hold all things together. Help us, Father, to get out of your way.


He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14

Do you struggle to get out of crisis mode? Is there something that’s got you in survival mode right now? Let me know how I can pray for you in the comments.




PS – Find more encouragement at the following linkups:

Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart

Missional Women’s Faith Filled Fridays

#DreamTogether at God-Sized Dreams

The LORD will fight for you.

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JeanA Jesus girl through and through, Jean Marie Bauhaus is on a journey of healing and rediscovering who God purposefully created her to be. She’s the wife of Matt and mom to a crew of four-legged dependents, all of whom make their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jean counts coffee, dark chocolate and a yarn addiction among her vices. She’s the author of Restless Spirits, a family-friendly paranormal romance coming October 31st from Vinspire Publishing. You can learn more about her novels and short fiction at

4 Things to Remember When You’re Too Weak to Pray


Lying in bed, I stared at the ceiling in the dark, too tired to sleep.

Have you ever been there?

You’re so worn out that you can’t wait to go to bed, sure that you’ll pass out as soon as your head hits the pillow. But instead of slipping into blissful unconsciousness, your mind decides to start running a marathon, going over (and over and over) every worry, every hardship, every doubt, every item on your never-ending to do list.

It was 2013 and our web design business had gone belly-up. Business had simply stopped coming in, with people deciding they’d rather save money and buy a pre-made template than shell out for a custom website. To make matters worse, the web design agency I contracted with decided to switch to a content management system I was unfamiliar with, and decided to let me go rather than train me in how to code for it.

We’d never been wildly successful to begin with. Although we made ends meet, we didn’t have a safety cushion, and my husband’s income wasn’t enough to cover the bills and living expenses on its own. Desperate, I began looking for a full-time job outside of the home, but interview after interview resulted in disappointment and closed doors. Our ship was sinking fast, and we didn’t have a life preserver.

By this point, my husband and I were no strangers to hardship. We’d already had a string of bad years that included me getting laid off from a good job with good benefits, two miscarriages, the passing of both of my inlaws and of two pets, and there had been very little time to recover in between all of those battles.

So when I say I was tired, I don’t mean that I was worn out from a hard day. I was feeling beaten down and defeated from what had come to feel like a hard life. I was weary in my soul, not wanting to face another day, fearful of what new hardship it would hold. I knew I should pray, but I couldn’t. God felt so distant, and I just didn’t have the energy. Even if I did, I didn’t know where to begin.

It’s a hard, miserable place to be. Maybe you’re there right now.

If you are, I want you to know that God is still with you. He hasn’t forsaken you, no matter how distant He may feel.

I also want you to remember these four things:

  1. God is praying for you. Scripture tells us that Jesus Himself intercedes for us at the right hand of God the Father (Romans 8:34). It alsy says that when we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26). You don’t need to have the right words. You don’t need to know where to begin. You only need to call out to Him, and your Savior and the Holy Spirit will meet you where you are and take care of the rest.
  2. If you look for Him, He’ll be there. Jeremiah 29:13 promises, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Sometimes, all that’s required to seek Him is to simply be still and know that He is God. Just sit quietly, breathe out His name, and let that be your prayer.
  3. He wants to hear what’s on your mind. Of course He already knows, but that’s not the point. Phillipians 4:6-7 tells us to bring everything to God in prayer, with thanksgiving, and promises that if we do, we’ll experience His ultimate peace.Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart to God–all of your pain, hurt and heartache, all your frustration and anger, all of your worry, fear and doubt–all of the dark and ugly, even the stuff directed at Him. Believe me, He can take it. And as you pour out all of that heart-junk, He’ll be able to fill up your empty places with His peace that is beyond human understanding.
  4. Thanksgiving makes you stronger. I know you’re probably not feeling a lot of gratitude at times like these, but God commanded us to always give thanks for a reason. Part of that reason is that there is always something to be thankful for, even if you have to dig deep or go back to basics to find it–even if the only thing you can think of to give thanks for is that you’re still conscious and breathing. The main reason, though, is that focusing on what we have to be thankful for, instead of dwelling on what we lack or what we wish were different, cultivates a sense of contentment that produces joy. And God’s word tells us that this kind of joy — the joy of the Lord — is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Give yourself grace, lift up your eyes and call out to the Lord, pour out your heart to Him, and focus on what’s good in your life, no matter how small. This is the recipe for spiritual strength–and there’s one more thing I want you to remember, sweet sister. YOU don’t have to be strong. HIS strength is made manifest in your weakness. God’s love for you isn’t based on your ability. His grace meets you where you are and makes up for all of your human weaknesses, frailties and failings. God loves you, period.

If you’re stuck in a place where you’re feeling too week and worn down to pray for yourself, let me know in the comments (anonymously if you want), and I’ll pray for you today.

In His love,




PS – This week I’m linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart and Faith Filled Friday at

A Prayer for the Weary Woman

A prayer for the weary woman

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the wonderful truth of your Word, and for the promises it contains. Promises for provision, and for rest, and for hope for the future. Thank you for your Son, who shed His precious blood so that I could be forgiven and adopted into your family. Thank you for the privilege of coming boldly before your throne, calling you Father and bringing all of my cares and burdens to lay before you. And thank you that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are praying for me, even when I don’t have the strength to pray for myself.

Lord, Jesus said that the weary should come to him and He would give them rest. I need that rest today, Lord, and that’s why I’ve come before you. Today I name ALL of my fears and doubts, along with all of the burdens that my soul is so tired of carrying, and I cast them before you, laying them down at your altar. Please remove the weight of these burdens from me and help me resist the temptation to pick them back up again, but to leave them with you, trusting that you are far more able to deal with them than I am.

Help me to have confidence in the promises that are written in your Word, and to trust with all my heart that you keep your promises. Teach me to put my confidence and hope fully in you and to fully trust the plans you have for me–plans for my benefit and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope.

Lord, please teach me to wisely discern my part in your plan, to recognize what is truly my responsibility to take care of. Help me not to overburden myself by taking on burdens that don’t belong to me, and to realize that when I do, I make myself unavailable for the tasks and opportunities you have just for me. Help me to remember that when I try to do everything, I also deprive other people of opportunities to serve and receive blessing. Teach me to let you establish the work of my hands, and to trust that what you give me is enough.

Please give me the patience I need to wait on you, and to wait patiently for your plan to unfold in my life. As I wait, create a renewed spirit within me, and let patience have its perfect work, producing perseverance, good character, and hope that never fails. Help me to recognize your leading, and give me the wisdom, courage and flexibility to always follow your lead.

Finally, Father, please help me remember that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, least of all to you. You don’t love me because of the size of my To Do list or how many items I’m able to check off each day. You love me simply because I’m your daughter, and because of this I can trust you to provide for me, and to carry me when I’m too tired to walk. Help me to find moments to simply be still and know that you are God, and that I can safely lean into you and let you orchestrate the details of my life.

Thank you for loving me, Lord.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

“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)

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)

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. – 2 Cor. 4:16

The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23 (NLT – emphasis added)

Even to your old age and gray airs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. – Isaiah 46:4

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will upold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

In repentance and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength. …The Lord longs to be gracious to you. – Isaiah 30:15b, 18 (emphasis added)


{Linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart}