Child Hunger Ends Here: 3 Ways to Include Your Kids in Giving

 

Last week, The Cleveland Daily Banner featured an article about our involvement as a blog ambassador with ConAgra Foods and the Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign.  Ya’ll know we are passionate about giving to others, especially since couponing affords us the opportunity to “Save Big so we can Give Bigger.”

I always knew there were needs in my community, however since I have been involved in the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign my eyes have been opened.  Nationwide, 1 in 5 children are food insecure meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.  In my county, the need is even greater 1 in 3 children.

Wow.  1 in 3 children where I live don’t know where their next meal is coming from?

I can’t imagine, my son wants a snack between snacks……….

 

 

Not only do I think it’s important to include my kids each time we pick out an item to donate, I think it’s important that they know someone sitting right next to them may not know where their next meal is coming from.

I want them to learn empathy, and the importance of looking beyond themselves to see the needs of others.  If I don’t teach them, their view will be based on what they see with their eyes.   To them, hunger and needy will be those on the side of the interstate holding a sign.  It will be the homeless, laying down on a park bench.

Reality.  1 in 3 children where my children play, go to church, participate in sports, etc. are hungry.  It’s up to me to teach them, it’s up to me to show them what compassion for others looks like, it’s up to me to show them we can help, we can make a difference.

 

 

How?  It starts with awareness.  I challenge you, to talk to your kids about child hunger.  Don’t know where to start?  Find out what the stats are in your community.  Educate yourself.

Did you know……..

Children who struggle with hunger face additional problems, such as:

  • Slower growth and inhibited brain development
  • More illnesses, including stomachaches, headaches, colds, ear infections and fatigue
  • Greater susceptibility to obesity and its harmful health consequences
  • Lower concentration and alertness in school
  • Lower academic achievement

Stats – from Consequenses of Child Hunger

 

 

Here’s how to find the child hunger stats in your county:

  1. Click here, then look for the image above – click “See how many children are affected in your county.”
  2. Click your state to see the overall stats.  I live in TN – 17.6% of children are food insecure.  Right around the corner in GA 19.9% are food insecure.
  3. Hover your mouse over the county you live in, talk to your kids about this number.

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Now, go one step further.  Do something.
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Feed a hungry child, with your children.
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It’s as simple as entering a code from a participating ConAgra product online.  (go here for a list of participating products)  Look for the push pin like in the image above for the code.  ConAgra will donate a meal, for every code entered up to the equivilant of 5 million meals.   Depending on how old your children are, walk them through the process from picking up the ConAgra products at the grocery store that qualify to actually entering the code online once you get home.  If they own the experience, it will make a greater impact on their hearts.
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After your kids enter the code, they’ll get to download a copy of the song, Here’s Hope written for the campaign by their choice of artist, either Jewel, Owl City or Jay Sean.
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Not only will our kids feel like they got special time with mommy (depending on their age) but together you took the time to make a difference in someone else’s world.  It’s what giving is all about, looking beyond our desires to invest in someone else’s life.
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But.  Don’t let it end there.
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Each time you go to the grocery store, include your kids.  Let them pick out the donation item.  Every week there are items at the grocery store that are free or super cheap.  There’s no reason, not to pick up an item or two.  Your kids will love it, you will be doing something every time you shop that WILL make a difference.
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We make it easy for you.  Every week we post a Time 2 Give list, that includes all of the items in our grocery and drug store matchups that are $1 and under.  Look for your store, then ask your kids to help pick out the donation item.  Depending on their age, if it’s a printable coupon let them cut it out.  If the coupon is in your binder, ask your kids to grab it.  Give them an envelope and put them in charge.  Once you get to the grocery store, allow them to pick the item off the shelf and hand over the coupon to the cashier.
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It will take a little extra effort on your part, but the lessons your children will be learning are invaluable.  After all, couponing it’s just about getting a deal, it’s about making a dfference!
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You can make a difference by purchasing participating ConAgra products at your local grocery store. Look for the push pin logo, and enter the code online at Child Hunger Ends Here. For every code entered, ConAgra will donate the equivalent of one meal. Codes will be accepted up to a maximum of 3 million meal donations or until 8/31/2012. If you missed our previous post about Child Hunger Ends Here click the following links here and here.

You can also follow the discussion at www.facebook.com/ConAgraFoods, or tweet along by following www.twitter.com/ConAgraFoods and using #ChildHunger.

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I am a blogger correspondent for ConAgra’s Child Hunger Ends Here campaign. Opinions and experiences shared here are my own.

 

Time 4 Change

I started this journey a little over three years ago.  As I looked for ways to save money and meet our family’s goals, I stumbled upon the growing popularity of couponing.  For those who’ve attended a workshop and heard my personal story, couponing was an enjoyable and exciting way to get the name brand products we needed at incredible prices.  It was new, it was fun, it was work, but then a new journey always is!

Adding the business aspect to couponing was icing on the cake as it afforded many opportunities to travel and meet lots of new people.  I have been amazed hearing your stories and accomplishments of how you’ve used couponing to enrich your own lives.  All great things! But…have you ever eaten too much cake? Over time, I knew I was entering a wrestling match as I was trying to balance my heart (my family and kids) with this journey.  I found I was allowing the demands for travel, research and all the other things that go along with starting a business to take over a much larger portion of my life.  Don’t get me wrong – saving money and being a better steward is a good thing.  Showing others how to save and using this to enhance giving is a good thing.  What I was learning was the lessons that come when there is “too much of a good thing.”

I remember hearing one of my favorite speakers, Beth Moore, sharing about balance and priorities.  Her point was basically a calling never comes at the sacrifice of one’s family.  Hum…that gave me something to think about.  I knew I was no longer giving my best to my family, friends and to the priorities that I’d left the workplace for from the beginning.  I was struck one day as I read Patrick Mobley’s quote, “If you don’t have enough time for your family, you can be one hundred percent certain you are not following God’s will for your life.” Ouch!  How many times had I stayed on the computer too long trying to track down one more deal?  How often had I cut a trip with the kids to the park short so we could stop at the store for one more sale?  How many engaging conversations had I had with strangers about saving money or coupon strategies and come home too tired engage with my husband and kids?

For most people, I believe we go through a season of finding ourselves in this place – a place of unbalance, a place that we really didn’t intend to enter but in our passion of going full force ahead, we looked up and no longer recognized the scenery.  I don’t say this to beat myself or anyone else up. There were great intentions that fueled the way.  I’m simply acknowledging where I’ve allowed the journey to take me.  So I say with a renewed spirit and gratitude for detours, “My name is Kelly and I’ve gotten off track.  While the pursuit of saving money is not a bad thing, I’ve let it take over my life.  But today I’m making a change!”  Yes, I’m making some changes.  I’m laying down some of the balls I’ve tried for too long to juggle…one of them being Time 2 $ave.  Of course, I’ll still look for savings and grab a couple (no more than 2!) blinkies in the store.  Shopping according to sale cycles makes sense in my world and I will always enjoy stocking up on clearance items.  I’m at a place where I realize that I can’t do it all!  There may be days that I have to shop without a single coupon. There may be times I pay full price.  But I’m putting my priorities back in line.   I want to be at home more nights for supper and less on my computer.  I want homeschooling to be an adventure we share and not another box on my checklist.  I want to sit beside my hubby and watch reruns of our favorite shows holding hands and not a pair of scissors.  My kids are growing faster than I could have imagined and I choose to make a larger investment in their lives than in my bank account. I know to meet these goals, there has to be change.  With the addition of a new precious life to our family in just a few weeks, now is the time. It’s been a great journey and one that I’m humbled to have been a part of.  Signing off for the last time…Kelly

The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 7: Fear of Failure

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If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE).  If you haven’t started yet, it’s okay.  Each post remains available for your reference anytime, anywhere at your convenience. It couldn’t get any easier than that.
 

Day 7: Getting Up Again
Taken in part from Chapter 7 & 12
Food for thought: “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)

Renee surveyed over twelve hundred women for her book, A Confident Heart, and discovered two of the biggest triggers that paralyze us with self-doubt.

  1. Fear of Past Failures
  2. Fear of Failing Again 

Have you failed?  I know I have.  Throughout this week as we’ve gone through each day of the 7-day Doubt Diet God has opened my eyes to many different areas of my mind that he wants to renew.  Just by referring back to the titles of day 1-6 and there is a common thread.  Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence, Beat Up or Built Up, Trigger Points, Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder, But I don’t have Anything Special to Offer, Measuring Up, and Getting up Again – are all issues that reside between my ears.

These aren’t the 7 areas that God wants me to change about myself so that I can measure up to his standard.  Instead, these are areas of my life that God wants me to recognize and set me from.  It goes back to that “waiting for him to zap me,” from day one – I HAVE TO DO THIS.  Yes, he will walk with me every step of the way, but he won’t make me. 

In every area that we’ve talked about not only are their false beliefs about ourselves but also lies about who God thinks we are.  He wants us to have the freedom he died to give us.  He already knows we are going to fall – it’s clearly stated in today’s chapter, the righteous fall.  If we didn’t we wouldn’t need God.  When we fall, it opens our heart to hear Gods voice.  Every time we fail on our own it creates the perfect opportunity for God to step into our mess and speak to our hearts. 

Failure Isn’t Final!
Are their failures in our past that are holding us hostage?  Not hostage to our failure, hostage to our thoughts about our failure.   If we continue to condem ourselves then we remain stuck, when in reality God is saying get up.  Don’t allow the lies of the enemy to convince you that you can’t get up again. 

Not only can we get up again, we can move forward further than we were before.  Yes, failures bring shame, fear, insecurity,  anxiety, etc.  When we choose to get up and get out from where we’ve been then God can move us to a new place we never thought we were capable of going.  Every failure in a new opportunity for growth, wisdom, humility, and dependence on God.

I can’t believe that today’s the last day of our 7 day Doubt Diet.  I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as i have.  I pray that we all grab hold of this message no matter what comes our way as we take God’s hand and trust His heart.

Doubt Diet Tip: I can’t guarantee you won’t fail, but I can help you set yourself up to succeed! Healthy eating requires good planning, especially packing healthy snacks for in between meals. In the same way, we can plan for healthy spiritual snacks from God’s Word. That way we have easy access to truth that can keep us on track and help us lose the weight of our self-doubts.
In chapter 12 of A Confident HeartI’ve included a chart of thirty-one promises to replace our defeating doubts with God’s empowering perspective. For the doubt diet, I’ve created a FREE DOWNLOAD of some of them and you can find them on my website. See the link below, please.
© 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.

 

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We are giving away 4 copies of Renee’s book, “A Confident Heart,” $50 Southwest Airlines Gift Card, $25 Kroger Gift Card, and a $20 Target Gift Card. Plus we’ve added 4 packs of coupon holders (10 per pack).
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New Entry Option: In today’s devotion, day 7 we talked about fear of failure.  Are you afraid of failing?  Do you recognize God’s ability to redeem us from our failures? 

How to Enter:
  • Leave a comment – What’s the first doubt or insecurity that pops into your mind.below
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The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 6: Measuring Up

If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life. We are in this together it’s a “sharing” thing.
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  • Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder
  • Day 5: But I don’t Have Anything Special to Offer
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    Day 6: Measuring Up
    Taken in part from Chapter 6
    Food for thought: “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12 NIV)
     
    When I started reading today’s devotion, I felt burdened.  I’ve read every single comment that ya’ll have sent in, and so many of us (I’m not saying you because I’m right here with you) believe that we aren’t good enough.  That we’ll never do enough, be a good enough wife or mother, or that we’ll ever do anything right.  It is one thing knowing that I feel that way, after a while I guess I had gotten used to that accusing voice in the back of my head.  However, when I read what your sweet hearts struggle with I got fighting mad with Satan. 
     
     
    This has been my prayer the past four years, because of my own struggles.  God let me see me the way you see me. Help me to believe I am who you say I am, not who Satan wants to convince me I am.  If we ever grab hold of our God given destiny, and trust God’s heart.  Satan knows what kind of impact we will have on the kindgom of God.  That is why he is relentless and determined to stop us.
     
    Fight back, girls fight.  Don’t just accept how you feel as truth.  Above all things our heart is deceptive.  I wish I could look each of you in the eye right now and tell you how valuable you are, that God doesn’t make mistakes and he created you.  Who?  Yes you, even with all the weird stuff you do or strange habits, or crazy hair that you don’t like.  Whatever none of those things define you.  It doesn’t matter if you are short or tall, big or small, red, purple green or white God did not make a mistake.  When he created you, yes listen closely when he created you – he was proud of his handiwork and that has not changed.  No matter what we do, it doesn’t change who we belong to. 
     
    I wish I could hug each one of you who doesn’t feel like you measure up.  I would tell you that……..
  • If you are breathing you have something to offer.  God is not finished with you yet, you are so special to him. 
  • I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Jeremiah 29:11
  • You are enough just the way you are.
  • God isn’t waiting for you to be perfect. 
  • We will disappoint people who love us, because we won’t always meet their expectations.  That is okay, God didn’t create us to keep other people happy.
  • If you lost a job, or are waiting for a house to sell - nothing is too big for God.  The state our economy is in did not take him by surprise.  He is able. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • This one is for me too – Stop!  Quit allowing the enemy of our soul access to our mind and heart.  Kick his tail out.  If we hear a negative thought, doubt, shame, insecurity, etc in your head it’s not God.  Therefore, let’s commit to each other that instead of believing his truth lets expose it as a lie.
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    Just like on day 2 – It won’t happen just because it’s possible.  

     I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I need God the most I resist getting into the word.  I know it will make me feel better, I know it will give me peace.  Can you relate?  After hearing how the 7-day Doubt Diet has resonated in so many hearts I am certain that God wants to use this time, this season to begin plowing up our minds.  Out with the old, in with the new.  We have but one choice to make, will we cooperate?

    I pray for each of you that you won’t stop fighting, you won’t stop running after God until you recieve what is yours - A Confident Heart.

    Excert From Day 6 – A Message from Renee

    Yet Satan wants us to focus on our flaws and feelings of inadequacy, then exhaust our energy figuring out how to hide them. But we don’t have to go along with his schemes. Instead we can recognize his lies, refute his temptations with truth, and focus on God’s acceptance, security, and significance. Then we can thank God for His provision and His promises that remind us of who we are in Him.

    I am accepted . . .
    Ephesians 1:3–8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
    Colossians 1:13–14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
    Colossians 2:9–10 I am complete in Christ.

     
    I am secure . . .
    Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
    Romans 8:31–39 I am free from condemnation. I cannot be separated from God’s love.
    Philippians 1:6 I am confident God will complete the good work He started in me.


    I am significant . . .
    Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
    Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
    Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

     
    Doubt Diet Tip: When you’re tempted to use the measuring stick of comparison—be sure to measure UP by focusing upward on Christ, remembering who you are in HIM! “The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior (and beliefs) will begin to reflect your true identity!” *
    © 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.
    *Victory Over the Darkness, Dr. Neil T. Anderson (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990), 48.
     
     
     
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Doubt Diet Day 5: But I don’t have anything special to offer.

If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life. We are in this together it’s a “sharing” thing.

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Day 5: But I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer
Taken in part from Chapter 8
Food for thought: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Ps. 139:13 NIV)  

If we were all sitting in a group together and were asked to answer the following questions, what would your “soul” reaction be.

  • What do you love to do?
  • If finances were unlimited and failure impossible, what would your dream be?

Did anyone feel a little panicky inside?  Would you want to hear how others answered first?  In the introduction to today’s devotion Renee described a time when she found herself in a similar situation being asked those questions. 

She said one friend wanted to be the first female President while another wanted to be in a Christian Rock Band.  It was funny when she said she listened as her friends around her described their dreams so she could get some ideas.  I love the fact that Renee is real – I bet some of us would have done the same thing.  

She didn’t have an answer to those questions, instead it mattered more what others wanted or needed her to be.  Can  you relate?  God didn’t create us for the purpose of making others happy.  Instead, he has a plan and a specific purpose for each of us. 

So, here goes I’d like to introduce you to the real me.  I used to be very hard on myself and feel that my personality was “wrong” because I wasn’t like other people.  Now, I  just laugh at myself because there is always some kind of adventure.  I lose my keys and cell phone everyday.   I don’t like details, spreadsheets, numbers, strict rules or a black and white answer.  I prefer not to rent movies or check out books from the library because chances are they will end up lost or returned late.  I have a hard time paying attention, especially with long detailed stories.  My mind is always spinning, 

At the same time I don’t get bogged down with details.  It takes a lot to make me mad.  I’m very passionate about what I believe in.  I love making other people laugh, it makes me smile all the way down to my toes.  Giving is a part of who I am.  I makes me giddy thinking about  who I can give to, what they need, how it can be an anonymous surprise.

I used to feel so bad about myself and couldn’t understand why I lose everything.  my mom always made it sound so simple.  “If you put things where they belong you’ll never lose them.”  You think I haven’t tried that?  The problem is that in my mind nothing has to “belong” to a certain place.  

What about you, have you been hard on yourself.  Turn it around - God wants to use it for his kingdom.  Don’t get me wrong, God is still working on me in this area.  I still have more insecurities than I can count.  I have however, accepted me for me. 

Okay, so I’ve spilled my guts.  What about you, what makes you – you.  Think about something that you’ve beat yourself up about – turn it around.  It was important enough to God to include that “ingredient.”  I think about baking a cake.  Does flour taste good by itself?  Not so much.  Chocolate Cake – now that’s another story.  Love it.  When I look at Chocolate Cake, I don’t think about the disgusting flour, I think about how wonderful it tastes once all the ingredients are combined. 

Next time Satan wants to whisper doubt in your ear remind him – you are chocolate cake.  I know that sounds silly but sometimes it takes that silly kind of thinking to get rid of our toxic thoughts.

Copied below is an excerpt from the 7-Day Doubt Diet.  Renee’ s Message.
 

The truth is: you and I were not designed to be whom others expect us to be, or even want us to be. We were created to become all that God planned for us to be. 

Let’s take the challenge and go hang out with ourselves for a while.  Below I have copied questions Renee challenges us to consider.

  • What do you love to do?
  • If finances were unlimited and failure was impossible, what would be your dream?
  • How well do you know the real you?    
  • Have you ever taken time to think about what you like to do?
  • What personality traits, abilities, or experiences do you have?
  • What would make your heart come alive if you had the confidence and resources to do it? 
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    Doubt Diet Tip:

    We all have a natural body shape. I’m shaped like a pear; always have been, always will be. Most of my life I didn’t like it. But this is the body God gave me and I’ve learned to work with it. In the same way God gives us a natural body shape physically, He also gives us a natural “body shape” spiritually, to equip us for His purpose in the body of Christ. Ask God to help you discover and love the “shape” He gave you! 

    

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    Hint:  You can get one entry for commenting on this post. 

     

    The 7-Day Doubt Diet Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder

    If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read  (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life.  We are in this together  it’s a “sharing” thing.

     Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder
    Taken in part from Chapter 9 of A Confident Heart
    Food for thought: She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40 NIV)

    I don’t know about you but I always have plenty of things to worry about.  Like Renee mentions in today’s devotion when I get worryed and overwhelmed I feel like God is not listening.  The past 4 years I have struggled a lot – wondering if God heard my prayers.  At times, I questioned his love for me and I felt like I couldn’t trust Him.  I worried, I wondered, and for a season I got mad at God. I’ve included a part of my story below as a testimony of Gods faithfulness.

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    In January 2007 my 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with type I diabetes.  Morgan was barely 3 and Caleb was only 5 months old.  This brought on a new level of worry.  For example, Morgan’s blood sugar, checking her blood, counting the carbs in her food properly, shots and so much more.  We we afraid for Caleb, so we’d check his blood sugar periodically.

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    A couple of months later in April my daddy was diagnosed with Brain Cancer.  A very aggressive cancer that grows like an octopus into your brain.  No cure, terminal, the only hope of extending his life would have been surgery.  Daddy’s tumor was inoperable.  He was given less than 2 months, God gave us 10 months.

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    We also had 3 houses during this time.  One that we lived in and two spec houses that sat for 2 years before they sold.  For two years we had 3 mortgages.

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    My daddy passed away in February.  Then, the day after his funeral my husband lost his job.   The company he worked for had a merger and shut down his entire division.

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    At this point, I really questioned God.  The day after my dad’s funeral Gary loses his job, and we have 3 houses?  I didn’t feel like God was listening.  In fact, I felt like he had turned his back on me for a time.  I didn’t understand why he had allowed so much?

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    It didn’t happen overnight but slowly God has put me back together.  It’s been a process that I have had to walk through.  I had to completley surrender every part of my life to Him.  Had I not, I shudder to think where my wondering may have lead me.  I don’t know where I heard this, but it’s stuck with me.  When I feel overwhelmed about the future, it’s because God hasn’t given me the grace to face that day yet.  I look back at what God has brought me through and I know he carried me.  God gives us the measure of grace when we need it, but not a moment too soon.

    On Day 4, Renee shares a season in her life that left her feeling overwhelmed, fearful, out of fuel, full of worry, and doubt that God even cared.   She said she secretly felt that if she stopped worrying about everybody and everything God would too.  She was over-committed and had become weary serving God instead of seeking God.  Then one day as she was reading about Martha and Mary in her bible from the book of Luke she realized that Martha had become weary in all of her worrying and began to doubt that God cared for her.

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    A message from Renee
    Excerpt The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 4:  Sometimes Worry makes you Wonder

    Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6–7 NLT)
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    First Peter 5:7 tells us: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (NLT).

    When life weighs us down this week, let’s commit to:

    1. Stop worrying—Press the pause button on our consuming concerns.
    2. Start praying—Talk to God about all we’re doing and ask Him if there’s anything we need to cut back so we have time to seek Him as much as we serve Him and others.
    3. Keep thanking God—Thank God for what He’s done in the past and will do in the future. This helps us remember how good He is at being God.

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    Doubt Diet Tip: Lose the weight of worry by “giving all your worries and cares to the Lord because He cares for you!” Write your concerns on an index card and give them to Jesus. I have a tabletop cross by my bedside where I lay my “concerns card.” Maybe you could get one too. Then, when you start worrying, go back and write your worries on your card, and commit once again to cast your cares upon the Lord.

    Download More Peace-Giving Promises
    The 7-day Doubt Diet is a free devotional Companion to A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

    © 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.

    7-day Doubt Diet Day 3: Trigger Points #Renee Swope

     

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    If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life.  We are in this together  it’s a “sharing” thing.
     

     

      Food for thought: The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have .… Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14 NIV)

     

    On Day 3 Renee beings by asking, “Maybe you’ve sensed God leading you to participate in a ministry, but doubt has convinced you that you’re not smart enough or gifted enough. Perhaps you wanted to have kids, and now you have a family but you doubt you really have what it takes to be a good mom. Or maybe you’ve wanted to change jobs and now have the opportunity to do just that. But you don’t want to go because you’re afraid of failing at something new.

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    Then she turns to a story in the bible about Gideon, from Judges chapter 6.  His doubts and insecurities told him that he wasn’t anointed, God didn’t call him, there was a mistake he would fail.  As you read the chapter you see that he begins to make progress as he changes his thoughts to reflect God’s thoughts.

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    Then, life happened and Gideon faced a conflict and defeat.  He didn’t believe that he was the warrior that God said he was.  Instead he believed,“But how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15).  The angel of the Lord said he was a great warrior and Gideon tel  Why would he struggle when the angel of the Lord is standing in front of him?  His past spoke louder than the promise of his future.

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    Hurts, insecurities and broken dreams from our past have a powerful influence over our thought life.  We have a filter in our mind that has been shaped by our life experience.  Everthing we hear has to go through that filter before it reaches our ears.  Recognizing those things that trigger our emotions is the focus of todays devotion.

     

    I began to ask myself what negative emotions do I experience the most.  It didn’t take but a second for insecurity to raise it’s ugly head.

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    Those of you who don’t know me, I am six foot tall.   When I was a little girl people called me BIG BIRD, and it wasn’t meant as a compliment.  I desperatly wanted to shrink so no one would notice me .  I was so tall for my age people would say things like, “My, you are tall.  Do you think you’ve stopped growing yet.”  “You are two heads taller than so and so, aw she’s so cute look at her and her cute little feet isn’t she a doll.”

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    At school on picture day I always knew what was coming, “Oh dear, honey you need to get in the very back you are so much taller than everyone else, even the boys.  My Lord, that’s right keep backing up.  Just as far back as you can go.”

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    What good is a 6ft tall teenager who doesn’t have an athletic bone in her body.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard,”I bet you play basketball don’t you.  You’re so tall, of course you do how silly of me to ask.”  I hated PE class, especially when we played basketball.  My PE coach in Middle school was particuarly hard on me.   One day as we were playing basketball,she screamed at me for missing a shot, “Knight (my maiden name) you should be better than that.  You are 6 foot tall how did you miss it.”

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    I got the ultimate confidence booster when I was in the 10th grade.  I made the varsity cheerleading squad in the 9th grade.  I had hoped that I’d graduate from BIG BIRD status to one of the cool girls.  I remember walking into class after the bell rang and seeing a picture of a girl drawn on the desk in a cheerleading uniform.  Her legs looked like a giraffe – with the words “how did she make it” scribbled out to the side.  Yes, they were referring to me and I began to ask myself the same question.  The next year I didn’t even try out.

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    Now, I’m all grown up and you know what, I hate sports.  I haven’t thought about those situations in years.   I don’t have to they are engrained in me as truth now.

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    Like Renee, my insecurities and fears have kept me from trying things.  You want me to go hiking, no thanks.  A climbing wall – fantastic everyone below can laugh at me while I’m suspended in midair with nothing but ropes and my long legs tangled in the rope.  When my kids ask my to play basketball or softball – I start to panic inside.  No!!  I don’t want to.  I don’t want them to see how bad I am.  My husband played golf in college. (Yes, I married an athlete – good in every sport) He would love if we golfed together.  In December we’ll celebrate our 15th anniversary and guess what, my doubts have convinced me not to try.

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    In Chapter 1 of “A Confident Heart,”  Renee shares what God revealed to her after he spoke to her about her “shadow of doubt”.  She said, ” As I stood there in my bathroom, I knew I needed to get honest with God too. I needed more than just a quick fix. I wanted to figure out what triggered my self-doubts.”

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    Damaged emotions and insecurities from our past have a powerful influence over how we see ourselves today.  Do you see a pattern of doubts or insecurity that is rooted in your past. 

       

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    A Message from Renee
    Excerpt from The 7-day Doubt Diet:  Day 3

    Conflict, criticism, and comparison are three triggers that lead me into that yucky place of uncertainty……

    When I find myself standing in the shadow of doubt, I ask Jesus to show me what triggered my emotions. Then I process that trigger point through the filter of God’s perspective and promises. I ask Him to show me what lie I believe that needs to be replaced with His truth. I then ask Him to change the way I’m thinking, which changes the way I’m feeling, and eventually transforms the way I’m living.

    Over time, I’ve learned to rely on God’s power to defeat my insecurities, which has empowered me to fulfill His calling on my life. And so can you! God calls us to live beyond the shadows our doubts, but it is not always about what He wants us to do as much as it is about what He wants to do in us as we learn to completely depend on Him.

    Doubt Diet Tip:In the same way emotional triggers make us want to eat a half-gallon of ice cream or a whole bag of chips, we have emotional triggers that cause us to doubt ourselves. Ask God to show you your most common triggers and help you process them through the filter of His truth.

    7-day Doubt Diet Day 2: Beat Up or Built Up?

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    If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (And its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life.  We are in this together  it’s a “sharing” thing.

    Day 2: Taken in part from Chapter 6

    Food for thought: What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31 NIV)

    Yep, happens to me all the time. I won’t even be awake good yet, before discouragement tries to snuggle up next to me and hold me down. Not physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Do you ever wake up like that? Lately I have been so overwhelmed. There is not enough of me to go around.  I’ll tell God – I can’t do all of this it’s too much. Having so many responsibilities leaves me feeling like I am barely treading water and I’m nose deep. One more drop of water and I’m going down.   In case you haven’t gotten your copy of the 7-day Doubt Diet, Renee describes waking up feeling much the same way.
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    Then, Renee’s alarm went off to the song “God is in Control,” by Twila Paris. As she listened to the word of the song, truth began to take over.  Truth says things like there is no time for fear, instead it’s a time for faith and determination.  To hold on to God’s word hidden in her heart instead of the thoughts that wanted to overtake her mind.  Then, a timely reminder……. God was in control.
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    God uses his word to speak truth into our soul because his light dispels darkness.  When his word is spoken fear has to leave, doubt has to go away, insecurity has to pack up it’s bags.  The only way they have access to our minds is if we open the door and let them in.  Of course we’d never do it intentionally, right?  If someone came knocking on our door and we knew they were coming to harm us what would we do?  Would we open the door, lay out the red carpet grab a diet coke and chill?  Of course not.  I’d grab my babies and high tail it as far away as I could in the opposite direction.
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    But my mind, not so much.  The part that has always been so hard for to grasp is that it’s already mine.  He’s already given me peace, He’s already given me strength, He’s already given me a measure of faith, in fact He’s already given me everything I need to face today.  When I hear that I want to scream WHERE?  WHERE IS IT?  Then, I read the next sentence.  But it won’t happen just because it’s possible.
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    Well I think we’ve pretty much determined we’ve all got issues.  So, what’s the verdict?  What do we do if it won’t happen just because it’s possible.  What do you do when doubt whispers in your ear.  It’s your turn to share, remember it’s a “sharing thing.” Do you ever wake up and feel discouragement taking over your thoughts?  What about doubts…….do you worry like me?
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    I’m assuming most of you have not read A Confident Heart .  Renee has a testimony behind her message.  She’s been there and walked through many years of doubt, insecurity, worry and fears.  She understands and shares very personal stories from her life.  I just wanted to share with you because I want to learn from someone who has fought the battle and has come out victorious on the other side.
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    Below is an excerpt from Day 2: of the 7-Day Doubt Diet..
    We have to take action. Just as she had to tune her radio to encouraging music, we need to get intentional about tuning our thoughts to God’s thoughts toward us, every day..
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    But it won’t happen just because it’s possible.

    But it won’t happen just because it’s possible

    But it won’t happen just because it’s possible..

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    She referred to two different kinds of thoughts AM (Against Me) or FM (For Me).  I am starting to think that Renee snuck in my mind one day to hang out and listen.  I can guarantee you, that AM thoughts occur more frequently than FM.  I can be so hard on myself.  Thoughts don’t just swirl around in our mind aimlessly – thoughts create some kind of action.
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    When thoughts and feelings of doubt come:
    • Stop and ask God for His perspective.
    • Compare your thoughts to His thoughts, reflected in Scripture. Do they match?
    • If not, look for a promise in God’s Word to replace the lie that has filled your heart with doubt.
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    Doubt Diet Tip: When you go on a regular diet, it’s helpful to start a food journal to keep track of what you’re eating. That way you can notice unhealthy habits and find healthy alternatives. This week, let’s start a “thought” journal to keep track of what we’re thinking so we can identify unhealthy “against me” thoughts and replace them with healthy God is “for me” thoughts.  (Kasey here – I am going to do this.  Getting the words out of our heads onto a piece of paper takes the delusion out.  It also makes us purposely stop and think of God’s truth.
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    If you haven’t signed up for your own copy of the FREE 7-day Doubt Diet you can here as I am not posting the entire devotion.  You know copyrights and all that.  It’s something that I know I will keep to refer back to when discouragement wants to move in.
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    Personal Note from Kasey
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    I ended yesterday’s devotion with a prayer request for my family.  If you missed it, you can read it here.
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    So………..what happened? I had no idea when we started this devotion that God would be calling me back to a place all to familiar.   My husband is a pharmaceutical rep and his main drug just went generic.  We woke this morning anxiously awaiting the call from corporate to find out if his job will be eliminated.  The last time we waited on the same kind of phone call, it was a little over three years ago the day after my fathers funeral.  My heart screams with doubt – we’ve already been through this twice in the last 8 years, you have got to be kidding me.
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    At the same time, I’ve heard God gently whisper in my ear – remember where I’ve brought you from.  I did not forsake you then and I won’t now.  He’s calling me to take HIS hand and trust His heart.  I hear you God, I really do……..but to be 100% honest I’d rather you just answer my prayer that he won’t lose his job.
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    Fast forward a little while and the phone call has come and gone.  Guess what, it wasn’t the answer I had hoped for?  It’s not the answer I want.  I don’t have a choice, God has a plan and a purpose that is far beyond my ability to understand.  As soon as I heard Gary answer the phone I knew by the tone of his voice.  Thoughts began to flood my mind: fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, disappointment, did I already say fear?  Then, I started to pray and as I did God began to remind me of his faithfulness to my family.  No matter how bad it’s been, and trust me it has been B  A  D, he’s always taken care of us.  You know what?  God has given us peace.  A peace I can’t explain, even anticipation wondering what God is doing in our life.  He’s up to something.
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    So, here I am again back at the place where this all started.  To the place where I started couponing in the first place.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.  If this devotion isn’t for anyone else, I know for sure it’s for me.  My journey to A Confident Heart has begun.
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