Last Week's Winners
Thanks so much to all of you who joined in our conversation about Listening to God. If you missed it click here and here. I'm enjoying reading through your thoughts and questions again, and will be sharing more of mine on this topic in the coming weeks.

Sorry it took me a while to announce our recent winners. I wanted to allow time for sign ups and then I got sick, had a field trip to chaperone and Thanksgiving came! I forgot that I'd forgotten which is a little typical these days. So, here I am with a list of the "week before Thanksgiving" winners:

The winner of Lysa TerKeurst's book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God is Sasha Young.

The winner of my new message on CD, entitled "Rest Assured" is Kelly Pruitt.

Do you long to find peace for your anxious heart and purpose for your busy life? Jesus invites us to come to Him with our worries that make us weary and learn to live in the power of His promises and the assurance of His plans. This message will help you rest mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally as you learn to exchanged fear-filled thinking with faith-filled believing and peace-filled living!

The winner of It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen is Holly Townsend.

Be sure to join me next week for more encouragement and some great Christmas give-aways!
And if you want to make sure you don't miss a thing, be sure to subscribe to my updates via email in my sidebar, link up in the Google Friend Connect box or become a friend on Facebook!

This is Thanksgiving
I love Thanksgiving!! I love that just before Christmas there's a pause that reminds me give thanks for each of my blessings. I love that it's a pause wrapped in tradition. Tradition that surrounds me with family, friends and food that make me feel cozy inside.

Ever since we got married, on Thanksgiving morning we'd get up, have a late breakfast and drive to a couple hours to Raleigh to spend Thanksgiving with JJ's brother, his family, and J.J's parents. We've been doing this for years and we all love it!

Two years ago, our family tradition was interrupted when J.J. got C-diff (an awful bacterial infection) that put him in the hospital for 4 days, on Thanksgiving morning. His brother met me half way and our boys went to Raleigh without us.

Last year my mom was hospitalized the week before Thanksgiving for 8 days. We brought her home on Wednesday night before and collapsed. I don't even remember what we ate. I think I bought a honey-baked ham. My brother made oyster stew. I was thankful to be home and to have my brother and his family here. But I have to admit, I missed our Thanksgiving tradition.

This year my sister-in-love had to go and win herself a free cruise this week, so they aren't even home to invite us to come see them. She's probably convinced we wouldn't show up since we've had to back out 2 years in a row. So, they are going to FL for Thanksgiving whereJ.J.'s parents live. And we'll be here all by our lonesome selves. (Violins please)

J.J. and I were feeling kind of lost and not knowing what to do. I think we both felt deep sadness that we'd be doing all the cooking :->. Where would out tradition be without all the people who made our Thanksgiving what it had been? We could go to Florida but we really didn't want to do all that driving. So, we talked about it and prayed about it.

Eventually, we both realized it's up to us to start a new tradition, right here where God has us, with our own little family. I've sensed God telling us we're the big people now and we need to learn how to cook and create "cozy" ourselves.

It won't be the same, but it doesn't mean it can''t be just as warm and wonderful. It's up to us to make it what we long for it to be.

On Sunday, my heart finally settled into a good place of moving forward. Then yesterday God gave me a sweet confirmation that is where He was hoping I would land. I read my friend Carol Davis' blog post below and it was just what I needed!

Thursday is Thanksgiving. A time when we reflect and think of all we have been blessed with.

But, it's not a celebratory time for everybody. For some of us, it will never be the same.

There will be an empty seat because death came for them too soon. An empty seat because one found another table at which to celebrate. A clean plate set but not used that represents the child that has decided family is no longer a priority. Suddenly, this year...we notice that things will never be the same.

I think back to the Thanksgiving days of my childhood. I would enter through the front door of my grandmother's house while the wonderful aroma wafted from the kitchen. The house was full. The table was set. We could not begin until every one arrived. The smell of pecan pie and sweet potatoes tempted you to enter and get a taste of what awaited. But, you waited...knowing it would be worth it. Being the youngest grandchild, I got to fix my plate first and sit at the small table located closest to the food. This was Thanksgiving.

Year after year, the landscape of family changed. New faces were added. We mourned the loss of empty chairs and celebrated the additions of high chairs and card tables for extra seating. Every year different.

Then, I remember the first year that my grandmother was in a rest home. My heart ached that day when we gathered around the table to give thanks. No longer around her table, no longer with the big family, different. I knew it would never be the same.

But, the older I get, the more I realize, that even in the "never be the same" days, there are treasures to be mined out and enjoyed in the midst of different.

True. The faces have changed. But, let's not miss the faces that are gathered.

True. Life has changed. But, let's not look forward to the end of the day and miss the living of this day.

True. It will never be the same. However, truth of the matter is, it never has been. So, squeeze all of the life you can out of today knowing that God has created this day and has plenty for you to enjoy.

This is Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving sweet friends. I am so grateful for each of you!

Divine Secrets (& Friday's Give-Away!)
Sweet friends, you have spoken my love language this week with your words of encouragement!!!!

Thank you for taking time to leave a comment and especially for sharing how God spoke to you specifically. My favorite was to read something specific that you read in a post and how it answered a question that's been bouncing around inside of you. That's God speaking to you! I also love knowing more about what's going on in your heart and in your life. You were so real about where you are and where you long to be, seeking God but sometimes wandering instead of following.
Your words were vulnerable. How you share your life as I share mine filled me up at times when I felt depleted this week. And God spoke to me through YOU!

I hope you'll keep your thoughts coming! You may think it's no big deal. But you are a big deal to me.
And thank you for admitting some of you are afraid of chopping vegetables, too. That made me feel so normal!


I've been thinking about how much God speaks to me through His word. It's never in an audible voice. And sometimes I'm not even reading my Bible. But God shows me things in the Bible or from the Bible that offer insights and direction I need. Through His Word He helps me understand His ways which give me direction each day.

Sometimes it's wh
en I'm reading my Bible. I'll put myself in the setting of the story, asking Jesus to help me see how the circumstances, struggles or lessons in the passage parallel my life.

Sometimes I'll be reading a verse in a devotion or a Bible study , and it's just what I needed to hear. The timing is perfect and I know God orchestrated it because only He knew I would need it then.

Other times I'll be reading a a book and the chapter I'm in will address a subject that I've been struggling with. A verse or truth from the Bible will be woven into the writer's thoughts, and it's just what I needed to shed light on my situation.

Today I want to introduce you to a friend who also longs to hear God speak to her heart. Rachel Olsen and I work together each week on the P31 Encouragement for Today devotions. She's our Sr. Editor. We pray over each devotion, that words written by our speakers and writers will speak into the hearts of each person who reads them, revealing God's heart, direction and life-changing truth.

Rachel is is also an author and speaker who who loves to dig into to God's Word and learn from His Divine truths! She's passionate about sharing those truths with everyday women just like us,so today I invited her to share about her new book, "It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know"

Rachel, tell us why you wrote It’s No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know?

Jesus’ statement to His followers in Matthew 13:11 captivated me. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you.” When I read that I was taken by the notion that God was willing to share His secrets with me. He was saying God has supplied me – and you – with sacred knowledge. Only I wasn’t so sure what it was, so I set out to discover what Christ was talking about here.

The word secrets here is translated from the Greek musterion, which means a sacred hidden truth that is naturally unknown to human reason but is made known by revelation of God.

As I dug into the Bible I found many such secrets … biblical teachings that run counter to what our gut or culture tells us about successful living … principals for how life works in God’s kingdom here and in the age to come.

I soon realized these were important truths all my God-Sisters need to know! These God-sized secrets contain the keys we are looking for—answers to the issues of modern life, such as exhausting schedules, unpaid bills, petty conflicts, and unmet expectations. I selected twelve I felt are particularly pertinent to women today and wrote this book.

I love a book that helps me face my everyday issues with God’s truth and perspective. Tell us more about how your book does that.

This book doesn’t just tell you what a particular verse or parable means - although that’s important and the book does do that. But it shows what that means for your life and mine … right now, today.

For instance, it can help when it’s 10:45 PM and you’re beat but you’ve still got one more task on your to-do list (chapter 9). It can help you handle your emotions when hosting Thanksgiving and you’re stressed over the food turning out great and everything being clean for your guests to enjoy (Chapter 7). It can also help you cope when a co-worker makes a snarky comment that really digs into your skin (chapter 4).

It’s No Secret applies ancient truths to our contemporary, everyday issues. It can empower you to:

  • Handle petty conflicts and criticism with grace
  • Overcome the competitive urges that leave you stressed or lonely
  • Grow spiritually despite life's setbacks
  • Relax unrealistic expectations in favor of emotional stability
  • Uncover a surprising means to worshiping God amidst your busy schedule
  • Discover how to make what you give away ultimately return to you
  • Find life-long adventure as you yield wholeheartedly to God

Readers are saying this book is a fun, easy read, yet also challenging and very applicable. And that’s exactly what I intended it to be. Someone once said this book packs a punch, with a well-manicured hand. I think that’s a compliment.


If you'd like to win a copy, just click on the word "comments" below and tell Rachel what Divine Secret you'd like to know, and why you'd want to win her book! We can't wait to read your comments! Oh, and I'll be back later this afternoon ( next Tuesday) to announce this week's winners. (I've got a field trip to get to this morning with Josh's high school class. We're doing a walking Tour of downtown Charlotte!)

Discerning God's Voice
Let's keep talking about listening to God today. In case you wonder why there are food photos on my blog, it's because God's been talking to me in the kitchen lately - showing me things about myself that I didn't know. Like the fact that I've been held back for years by my tendency to avoid chopping fresh vegetables.

See these three guys? They intimidate me.

Many recipes have never graced my kitchen because of them. But recently the cooker "wanna-be" in me decided she was "gonna be" after I posted about my Red Beans & Rice fiasco 17 years ago! The very next day I saw this recipe online:

Crockpot Red Beans and Rice
  • 1 pound Dried Red Beans
  • 7 cups Water
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 3 stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • ½ pound Andouille or Polish Sausage, Sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • Hot Cooked Rice
Preparation: Place all ingredients except rice in a 4-quart crock pot. Cover and cook on HIGH for 7 hours or until beans are tender. Serve with hot cooked rice and cornbread. Delicious, warm, and your man will love you forever.

I decided it was time for me to reclaim my confidence and my rightful position in the kitchen. I went shopping that very day, feeling so brave and inspired. But then I got home. My determination fizzled. Life got busy. And I couldn't find a convenient time to cry over chopped onions. I never felt like I was in the mood to pull seeds out of the green pepper, cut the celery or face the dread of burning eyes and running mascara.

My fresh vegetables and my "gonna-be" sat in the refrigerator, getting old and brown.

Last week, I was going out of town and wanted to make a special meal for my family. But I still didn't want to deal with the green pepper, onion and celery. Then that morning I ran by Target and happened to notice these frozen chopped onions.

Whoever came up with frozen chopped onions is my new hero! And whoever gave me that little veggie chopper I had not used in years, I love you!

Now isn't that a beautiful sight?
Chopped celery never looked so good!

And I did a number on that green pepper too.

Just so you know, that whole onion is back in my fridge.If you live nearby, you can have it. I'm never chopping an onion again!
Not a tear was shed that day. Well, except happy tears when I served up my first successful batch of Red Beans and Rice!

And, just like the recipe said, my man was happy, too!
(Disclaimer: I found out 'cajun' andouille sausage is really HOT!)


So what does this have to do with listening to God and discerning His voice? Well, first don't you just love that in the midst of ordinary life we can stop and ask God to speak to us? To show us something simple or why our hearts are in an angst or why we're avoiding vegetables and recipes when we have all the ingredients.

That is what I did, and that
day He showed me...
  • I avoid things that require something I don't want to give.
  • Dread and procrastination makes every obstacle bigger than it has to be.
  • There are always tools and people available to help, if I ask or look for them.
  • I need to face challenges head on with more confidence and courage.
  • This lesson applies in many areas of my life.
When the answers came, I thanked God for showing them to me. How do I know it was Him? In this case, it didn't matter. But my heart learns to trust Him more and believe that He speaks to me each time I give Him credit for giving me wisdom (James 1:5) when I ask for it.

There are times when my questions are deeper and decisions are more complicated. In those times, I have what I'll call my "recipe for discerning God's voice" since we're in the kitchen today. When I sense God leading me, whether it be through an impression on my heart, circumstances or through His spirit in me, I look for Biblical consistency as the key ingredient:
  • Is it consistent with God's Word and God's ways?
  • Is it consistent with wise Biblical counsel I've sought.
  • Is it consistent with God's leading through doors He's opened and closed.
  • Is it there a consistent theme I'm seeing or hearing during my personal Bible study time, through sermons, Christian songs, conversations, etc.?
Hearing and discerning God's voice is a challenge. But it is possible and He wants to speak to us. We just need to become familiar with God's Word and His ways. We need to ask for help and look for evidence of His consistency. I have a new message on CD, called "Rest Assured" that I'm giving away today that could help you!

In it, I talk about what keeps us from hearing God - our worries that make us weary, our need for control and other obstacles - and how we can let go of them. By talking about them and listening to God's perspective on them through His Word and prayer, we clear the clutter in our hearts and minds. And that is what He knows we need. He invites us to come to Him to receive rest mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. In His presence we can find His peace, hear His voice and learn to live in the power of His promises and plans.(Note: It's not on the P31 site yet, but I'll try to have someone load it today.)

To enter to win,
click on the word "comments" right below this post, and let me know if this message "Rest Assured" is something you need, or how the "consistency" questions might help you discern God's voice in something you are seeking Him for. I love sharing what God's showing me but it's even better when I get to hear and learn from each of you - so let's talk!

And after you've entered to win, click here to download a great FREE resource from Lysa TerKeurst with more ways to hear and discern God's voice.


Listening To God
Welcome friends! Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit. If you found your way here through my P31 Encouragement for Today devotion, "Living in the Hear and Now," I'm so glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stay a while and make yourself comfortable.

One of my deepest desires is to be a woman who listens to God. But, I don't always get it right. Sometimes I'm not sure if it's God talking or just me thinking. Ever wondered that?

I also I admit, I'm not always crazy about what I sense God telling me to do. Yet I've learned over the years that when I listen to God, I discover His best for me. And I grow in my trust in Him.

I've seen again and again that His ways lead to His goodness. And when I follow Him, His mercy follows me.

As I shared in my devotion today, I went through a season of learning how to really listen closely so that I could experience a day by day abiding in God's presence and plans. I thought I’d been listening to Him all along, but my prayers reflected that I wanted to know where to invest my efforts. In a still small voice God showed me that He wanted my ears more than my efforts.

He was more concerned about character than my calendar. I realized that many times I’d sought God for the larger plans in life, convinced that if I figured out what He wanted me to do I could become the person He created me to be.

Have you ever thought, “If only God would show me what job to take; what man to marry; what church to attend - then my life would be complete and I could serve Him with my whole heart”?

The problem is sometimes we get a glimpse of where He wants us to go and then assume we know how to get there. I’ve made that mistake many times and then wondered why I wasn’t getting anywhere.

Jesus depended on the Father for the large and fine print written in His life plan. He listened closely and obeyed quickly. John 5:19 reflects His absolute dependence: “The Son can do nothing by Himself; he can do only what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also.”

Like Jesus, we will discover God’s purpose for our lives through dependent hearts that seek to listen to His. We will find out what's on God’s calendar and part of our calling when we live in the hear and now - listening for His voice and obeying it each day, in every here and now.

Questions to Consider
  • Do I read my Bible so that God's words and ways are familiar to me?

  • Do I intentionally listen for God’s voice or do I assume I know what He wants me to do?

  • If God were to speak to me, would I recognize His voice?

  • Is my mind so full of worries that my thoughts drown out the possibility of hearing God’s thoughts?

Steps to Take
  • Take time now to quiet your heart and your thoughts.

  • Be still and acknowledge that God is God and you are not.

  • Tell God your desire to hear Him today and then ask Him to speak to your heart.

  • Share with Him your plans for the day and then ask Him to show you His.

  • Give God permission to interrupt your thoughts and agenda and lead you in a different direction if He wants to.

  • Get ready for a day filled with adventure and companionship as you walk hand in hand with your Maker.

Verses to Ponder
1 Samuel 3:10, “The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Psalm 119:16, “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

John 14:31, “But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”

Isaiah 55:2-3, "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live...."

Isaiah 50:4, "The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."


If you want to become a woman who listens to God, and discover the adventure of faith He has for your life, you will want to read Lysa TerKeurst's book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.

I'm giving a copy away to one of you this week! It's one of my all time favorite books and it kept me inspired to keep my promise to God that I will live in the hear and now! To enter to win, click on the word "comments' right below this post and share your thoughts or questions about listening to God. Please include your email so I can find you if you win. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Anything. Just talk to me...I'm listening :0). I love reading what you have to say!

And be sure to come back tomorrow! I'll be talking more about listening to God and offering a great free resource to help you discern His voice from your own. If you're new, I want you to know there's a place for you here and I'd love for you to join us! You can subscribe to updates via email in my sidebar, link up in the Google Friend Connect box or become a friend on Facebook!


When a Wanna-be Decides She's Gonna Be!
I'm getting ready to hop on a plane to St Charles, Louisiana where I'll be speaking at the Trinity Baptist Church women's conference tonight and tomorrow, and I'd love to meet you there if you can join us!

I'm so excited to be headed south to my original home state. Did you know I'm a Louisiana born girl? I'm hoping I'll get to eat red beans and rice while I'm there. Speaking of red beans and rice, last week's winner of my Friday Give-away which includes a copy of LeAnn Rice's "Sharing Grace" recipe e-book is Anonymous who posted at 8:19pm who told us about her spaghetti sauce that killed a fly when he landed in it. I don't have your email so email it to me by 5pm on Monday 11/15 at or I'll need to pick another winner. And then you'll be so sad. However the rest of you don't have to be sad because you can order one or enter to win one next week since it's part of my next give-away, too!

Until then, I'd love it if you'd tell me a little about you!

What state (or country) do you live in, what season of life are you in (that's a polite way of asking how old you are), are you single, married, have kids, a dog or cat, etc. and what keeps you busy most weeks- work, family, church, etc?

Also, be sure to come back next week to find out what happened when this wanna-be decided she was gonna be!

I'm Not a Cooker ( and A Give-away!)
This is my friend LeAnn Rice. She's an amazing woman, mom, servant leader, friend, and so much more. She's one of the most beautiful people I know - inside and out! She loves like Jesus in every way. And she's an incredible cooker!

Cookers are
the kind of people who like to cook.

I'm not a cooker. But I grew up in a family of cookers. My mom is a cooker. My dad is a great cooker, and my brothers love to be in the kitchen cooking. My oldest brother is even a trained chef.

When I was growing up, there was no reason or room in the kitchen for me to cook.
I did everyone a favor and stayed outside chasing boys and butterflies. Then one day I got married and discovered my husband's love-language is food.

During our first week home from our honeymoon I tried to tap into my lineage of cookers and whip up a traditional meal I'd grown up eating. I was from New Orleans. Surely I could remember what went into red beans and rice: red beans, rice, sausage, and red wine, right?

I wish you could have been there to taste and smell my creation. However, you might have been carded if you had come for dinner that night. I'm pretty sure my newlywed husband got drunk just walking through the front door of our apartment. I think I poured the whole bottle of wine into my "I will just make it up as I go" red beans and rice.

Needless to say, when I asked JJ if he liked the special meal I cooked for him, he sheepishly told me I didn't have to cook such fancy things and I wouldn't need to try making this one again. Bless his Pennsylvania heart, he just wanted meatloaf and potatoes.

I'm still not much of a cooker, but I do love to cook for my peeps. Over the past 17 years, I've learned a few thing about cooking. First I learned that recipes are a good idea. And that trying to impress my family with fancy fixings is not. They just want their favorites. Simple is best, and homemade speaks volumes of love.

My friend LeAnn invited me to guest post on her website She Cooks. I didn't have much to say so I simply shared my homemade chicken noodle soup recipe. It's yummy, I promise. My son Joshua even wrote about it in a poem for his literature class last year. He said I could show it to you here:

Where I am From

I am from being outside.
I am from friends playing together.
I am from trampolines and wooden forts.
I am from imaginations combining together to create something marvelous.

I am from early Christmas mornings in front of the fire.
I am from Halloween in the back of a pickup.
I am from Easters at Grandmas.
I am from Uncle Bill’s lake on the 4th of July.

I am from red beans and rice while watching Moby Dick with a friend.
I am from eating huge piles of cheese fries from Outback with a former NFL player.
I am from crawfish and crab at Grandpa’s house after catching them.
I am from homemade chicken noodle soup that could be mistaken to be from heaven.

I am from mistakes and successes.
I am from fun times and sad times.
I am from wonderful memories.
I am from a wonderful life.

And it’s not even halfway done.

©2009, Joshua Swope.

Did you see how he mentioned his momma's chicken noodle soup!? And used the word "heaven" in the same sentence. Now that's progress for a non-cooker wanna be mom. Yes, he also mentioned red beans and rice. He grew up on Zataran's, without the wine.

Well friend, I don't know if you're a cooker. I just know family and friends love when we cook for them. There's just something about the smells and feelings that spread through the kitchen when memories are made around the table, across the
counter or over the stove. It's so special that sometimes our cookin' even gets mentioned in poems written by boys about life and the things they love!

I can't be much help in the cooking department, so that's why I want you to meet my friend LeAnn. She's got all kinds of encouragement and wonderful recipes that will make your mouth water! But before I send you off to her site, be sure to enter to win a copy of her fabulous e-book "Sharing Grace."
It's full of memory-making inspiration and wonderful recipes. Just click on the word "comments" below this post and tell me if you are a cooker or not, what your family likes to eat, or memories you've made over meals. And if you've ever gotten someone drunk or sick with your cookin', 'd love to hear all about that!

That's all you've got to do to be entered to win, and be sure to include
your email or I won't be able to tell you. Also, last week's winner of Jill Beran's book "Letters from Leanne" is Anonymous who posted at 11:54pm. Jill will be in touch to get your address.

Now tell me about the "cooker" in you and then be sure to hop over to LeAnn's kitchen at!

What do you see?
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you notice something beautiful about the woman who glances back at you? Or is it hard to see past what you focus on as flaws?

I've been challenged by these thoughts lately. When I look in the mirror, my eyes tend to immediately notice what I don't like... wrinkles, dark circles under my eyes, that bump on my chin, freckles, cellulite.

The other day I watched Aster looking at herself in the mirror. I couldn't help but notice how much she delights in what she sees.

She smiles at the girl who looks back at her. And she even blows herself kisses.

I have a feeling she tells herself how pretty she looks in baby babble. I can't understand it, but her smile says it all .

I remember feeling pretty when I was a little girl. Memories of dressing up flood my mind as I look at Aster. Pretending I was a princess about to become a bride, I can almost smell the azaleas I'd gather to make my wedding bouquet. I'd walk down the aisle of my dad's long driveway lined with magnolia trees. And of course, my imaginary prince charming was waiting for me on the porch. I'm not sure he used words in my fairy tale, but I knew that he thought I was beautiful. His smile said it all.

Is it possible to return to that place? To be like the little girl who believed she was a beautiful princess?

If we allow God's thoughts to replace ours, I think it is. For in the truest part of our being, that is who we really are!

The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your lord. You are His masterpiece. How precious are His thoughts about You. They cannot be numbered! You can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when you wake up, He is still with you, thinking about you and delighting in you every minute of the day!

Psalm 45:11 (NIV), Ephesians 2:10a, Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT)

Lord, please erase words that have been spoken and lies that have been believed that have kept us from seeing ourselves as beautiful. Remind us today that we are Your inheritance. A crown of splendor, a royal diadem, true beauty in the hand of our God.

I pray you would remove our fault-finding tendencies and anything that has scribbled something ugly over the beauty You created in us. Replace self-condemnation with Your thoughts towards us. Show us the very things You hand-made in each of us to be beautiful - the color of our eyes, the tone of our skin, the shape of our lips, the gentleness of our smile, the length of our necks and other traits that are uniquely ours.

Father, I want to see what you see. Will You stand here with me, revealing true beauty that's woven into the woman who looks back each day when I look in the mirror.