Foster Parent Prayer for May 8

It was a long weekend at Casa Smallwood. I wasn't able to post prayers on Saturday or Sunday because I was dealing with a situation with one of my kids. That situation led me to this prayer for today (I had it scheduled for later in the month but I myself need to pray it today).   The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. Isaiah 50:4 These kids have seen things they shouldn't have, had things done to them that shouldn't have been done, been exposed to situations their little hearts and minds weren't ready for and had their hearts broken by the people that are supposed to love and protect them. Heartache has one cure and that is the everlasting love … [Read more...]

First Things First

Life is going well- we love Florida, we are getting settled in our home, Matt survived {and enjoyed} his first week at a new high school and we think we found a new home church! Yet, I had this nagging feeling that something was off.  One of those I-can't-put-my-finger-on-it type of things. Today, I sat in a corner of the conference area of a nice hotel and prayed with a few of my co-workers. {How blessed am I to be working with women of faith, y'all? God is too good to me}One of the ladies prayed that, despite the busyness of our job, that we wouldn't take our eyes off of Jesus.  That our quiet time would still be a priority, that He would not lose first place in our lives.  As she prayed, something clicked in my heart. I am the problem. Don't get me wrong- God and I have been … [Read more...]

Important prayer request + miscellaneous multitasking

I have let go of many online commitments and obligations in the last several months as I returned to the work-outside-the-home-in-corporate-America world.  I was sad to release many of them and prayed through each decision.  One commitment that God did not release me from {and I'm really glad He didn't} is writing for The MOB Society. Raising three boys to teenagedom has to make me an expert at something, right?  {cough, cough} In all seriousness, I am beyond proud of the amazing site that Erin and Brooke have built to support and encourage moms of boys.  And, today I am joining with them in asking you to pray for a cause dear to The MOB's heart.  The people of the DRC. Brooke has posted a heart wrenching update on the MOB site today and I ask each of you that read this to stop, read it … [Read more...]

Giving Up On God {part two}

Read part one here. Why was God letting this happen?  What did I do wrong?  This isn't how it was supposed to be. It didn't take but a few days for my family and the authorities to find me when I ran away.  The family court judge deciding my fate took my "strong feelings" into account and allowed me to attend a boarding school close to my paternal grandparents rather than return to foster care. That decision did improve my immediate circumstances. From the outside looking in, I had a good life.  Friends, good grades, acceptance to an elite academy, grandparents that loved me, material possessions-- you name it, I had it. But I also had a heart of stone.  A determination that no one would hurt me, a desire to manipulate before I could be manipulated. An entry from my journal at the time … [Read more...]

Short Fuse

  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  I Peter 3:14-16 I am getting used to having a commute. Granted, it is only 11 miles each way but with traffic, road work, school buses and/or stop lights, it takes me 25 to 35 minutes to go each way.  For those that know me, I tend to be short fused.  Driving does NOT bring out the best in me.  {God love my husband who commutes 90 miles each … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Session 7

Hi friends! This prayer study has been so helpful to me in this season of my life, with a new job, leaving full-time ministry and juggling the demands of teenage and young adult children (plus a hubby, two dogs, still volunteering with teen moms, church stuff, etc).  It has helped me remember that my access to God is only limited by how, when and why I pray. I have found myself talking to Him with renewed appreciation of His never changing love and attention as I navigate all these changes. Thank you for joining me through this study. My hope and prayer is that your relationship with God is enhanced through our time together. And, I hope to be back with regular posting next week as I become acclimated to my new schedule.   … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Session 6- Pray Without Ceasing

This week we are focusing on the verse in Ephesians that instructs us to pray without ceasing.  Is that really possible? I don't know about you but I find myself praying much more often than I used to. In the car, when I see an ambulance drive by, when I drive by a cherry blossom tree in full bloom..there are so many things to talk to God about throughout the day. Let's live our lives as a prayer. See you next week for our final installment of Plugged In. Thank you all so much for the privilege of sharing this material with you.   … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Session 4 {Pray and Start a Prayer Journal}

Hi friends! Here we are at week four of Plugged In: Accessing God's Power Through Prayer. Thank you for sticking with me for this journey and I pray you are being blessed by what God has laid on my heart through this study. In this session, I recommend using or starting a prayer journal. I have created a .pdf with more information and tips for prayer journaling. If you are interested in having a copy of that, email me at kmelissasmallwood@gmail.com and I will email it to you as an attachment. See you next week for session 5 :) … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Session 3

In today's session {session 3 of Plugged In: Accessing God's Power through Prayer}, we are finishing up with the barriers to an effective prayer life. If there is one book of the Bible I could point you towards as a practical "how-to" for the Christian walk, it would be the book of James.  You will see that I reference it quite a few times just in this brief session. As always, if you are interested in diving deeper with today's topics, just email me at kmelissasmallwood@gmail.com and I will send you a .pdf for additional study. Thank you for taking this journey with me. We are half way done :)   … [Read more...]

Plugged In: Accessing God’s Power through Prayer {session 2}

I am so encouraged by the emails and messages I have received from our first week of this study.  I have been praying for each participant this week, that God will bless your desire to grow closer to Him through prayer. Today begins the Lenten season.  Although the church I attend doesn't celebrate Lent, I do in my personal walk with Christ and have for the last several years. It is a sacred time of growing closer to Him and asking Him what He thinks has become an idol in my life that I then deny myself of for the traditional 40 days.  One year it was pride, another negative attitudes.  I will share in a later post what I am surrendering to Him this season. Here is the video for session two:   We identified two barriers to an effective prayer life during our study today.  If you … [Read more...]

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