Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 5 of the 30-Day {PRAISE} Challenge


 This will be the last {PRAISE} Challenge that is posted.  If you’d like to continue, you’ll need to purchase “The 30-Day Praise Challenge” by Becky Harling on Amazon or ChristianBook.  Enjoy to today’s Praise Challenge:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 3 of the 30-Day {PRAISE] Challenge

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Here is the link for today’s {PRAISE] Challenge:


My weekend was busy and exhausting – interesting that Day 2’s message was all about being tired and getting strength from God – and this week is full with appointments.  I will recap at a later date.  Until then, God Bless and happy praising!  Break of Dawn

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 2 - 30 Day {PRAISE} Challenge

For those of you who want to get right to work, here is today’s challenge:


So how did yesterday’s challenge go for you?  The whole day centered on WISDOM.  Needing wisdom resonated with me!!  How about you?  There are so many questions swarming around my life right now.  I’m feeling the crunch of time against me and, being a planner who likes to know what’s ahead, I’m wringing my hands because I still don’t have the answers I need.  Yesterday reminded me that I don’t have to do anything other than seek God and praise Him that HE is the source of all knowledge and wisdom.   Even though I still fell into old habits of worrying instead of praising, yesterday was sweet for me.
On July 23rd, I was going through my Beth Moore Bible Study, “Children of the Day”.  In my lesson, I read something I had never come across before.  Jesus was talking to Paul on the road to Damascus and He told him, “It’s hard for you to kick against the goads.”  (Acts26:14)

Excerpt from “Children of the Day”, page 142

“In the many instances where the proverb occurs in Greek literature, it always has the meaning of resisting one’s destiny or fighting the will of the gods.  That meaning fit Paul’s situation.  In persecuting Christ, Paul was fighting the will of the One who had set him apart from birth (Gal. 1:15).  Like a beast of burden kicking against his master’s goads, he would only find the blows more severe with each successive kick.  He was fighting the will of God (Acts 5:39).  It was a futile task.
“We kick against the goads too when we resist our God-ordained destinies.  The more we ignore His will for our works, the more discontented and out of sorts we’ll be.”

Bang!  The epiphany came!!  For several years, my soul has been unsettled.  I have been out of sorts, knowing something was off.  I look back and see God’s voice and how we didn’t obey His will for our lives.  There were at least two specific instances I know we turned the wrong way.  Now as our daughter struggles with severe anxiety and insomnia [again…] I can’t help feeling that the “the blows [are] more severe”.  God certainly isn’t punishing us, but He’s allowing these circumstances to put us back on the right course. 

Yearning for more, yesterday I reflected back on the last three years like a scientist looking under a microscope.  In 2011, I did Beth Moore’s “Esther” Bible study.  “Esther” was all about one’s destiny and being created for such a time as this.  I remember continuously thinking throughout that Bible study what our destiny was and what God was prompting us to do.  The answers were clear in 2011, but we didn’t obey.  In 2012, we prayed fervently for answers and asked God to speak through our counselor.  God used her to give us an answer and… we didn’t obey.  The year of 2013 was one of just maintaining, but 2014 has brought back a wrestling in my soul I can’t ignore. 

Becky encouraged us in the Journal portion of yesterday’s challenge to think about specific areas we needed wisdom. I did just that and then prayed fervently throughout the day for wisdom.  Last night, God gave me a sacred echo in my Bible study time with my husband, just in case I had forgotten what He told me the day before. 
Excerpt from Max Lucado's, "Grace", Bible study in Session 1:
“Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 26:14).

There it was again! Two times in two days I read something I had never read before.  God lovingly pointed out just what I needed to know.  I knew what I knew deep in my heart as the Spirit spoke to me.  My family and I have been kicking against the goads.  It’s time to repent and ask God for the courage to get back on course. 

Thank you, Jesus, that YOU are the source and giver of all knowledge and wisdom!


Even though yesterday went fairly well, I found myself falling back into old habits.  Instead of praising, I would wrestle thoughts in my mind to plan and figure things out on my own.  Old habits don’t die easy.  Practice makes perfect.  Thankfully God doesn’t expect perfection – He just wants more of you and me.  The fact that we’re on this 30-Day Praise Challenge shows we want more of Him.  Seek Him and you will find Him.  I’m seeking and I’m finding!

I’d love to hear how God used Day 1 to bless you.  Please, post a comment, a prayer request, or anything God lays on your heart.  Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless YOU!  Break of Dawn
In an effort to invite more people on our challenge and because I need to nail down Days 1 and 2, I’ll hold off posting another challenge until Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Give Him {PRAISE}

Life has been hard again.  My momma-heart breaks. 


You see, my sweet daughter has suffered with intense anxiety and insomnia for six of her tender nine years of life.  A traumatic experience jolted her into an almost two-year nightmare of severe sleeping issues, separation anxiety and worrying.  When we were at our end, we finally took her to counseling.  The counselor pointed out an issue in our family dynamics and, within a month, our preschooler was sleeping.  We were blessed with a couple years of rest until we plummeted back to the sleepless jail.  And that's the way it's been for six years now.  Times of sleep and low anxiety and worrying.  Lows of no sleep, heightened anxiety and worrying. 


As of April this year, we spiraled back down into that pit.  Now, our little girl spends her nights trying to fall asleep.  She takes warm baths and listens to a Christian meditation CD before retreating to her bed.  When sleep evades her, she has her sleeping kit packed full with her Bible, photo albums, her devotion book, a coloring book, a sketch pad and her journal.  Most nights she lays on the couch or in the living room watching one, two, maybe even three movies.  Eventually she falls asleep sometime between midnight-three in the morning.  This situation BREAKS-MY-HEART!  But, then I'm reminded Someone else's heart is breaking, too...


My little girl needs healing.  I need healing.  We all are in a process of healing.  Healing from past hurts and bad choices.  Healing from the stresses of life.  Jesus understands.  He allows these trials to uproot anything in our hearts that interfere with our relationship with Him.  When we're safe enough to deal with these inhibitors, He brings them to the surface and helps us conquer them.  Because, we're not created for a life of chains, but a life of {FREEDOM}. 


So, when we've done everything we know to do - pray, bless our kids with Scripture, take them to counseling, have others pray for them, pray against strongholds, and the list goes on and on - we stop doing and we rest in Him.  We {PRAISE} our Sovereign God that He's in control! 
Give Him {PRAISE}!


Will you join me in a 30-Day Praise Challenge?  For the next 30 Days, I will use Becky Harling’s “The 30-Day Praise Challenge” book to guide me in my journey.  You can purchase her book at Amazon or Christian Book.

Please, let me know how God uses this journey to work in your life.  I will do the same.  God Bless, Break of Dawn



30-Day Praise Challenge:  Day 1


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Everybody Has a Wound to be Healed


In many ways it made perfect sense:  I have some wounds, and they’re still healing.  My healing is, well, a PROCESS.


A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result.   

Scars are external, but they’re also internal.  My internal wounds are still pretty raw.  Blood trickles from these wounds.  Hurtful people make them bleed. Words make them sting, and mean actions tear them open.  Rehashing the hurt turns my mind into a pendulum swinging between stable and irrational. 

I think, “When will I heal?!  When will this pain stop?!”

My inner reasoning retorts,
Unfortunately, there is no concrete answer to this question. Scar healing times vary.  The length of time it takes a scar to heal depends on how much tissue was damaged, the age of the person and the location of the injury, all of which require patience on your part. 

“I get it - healing isn’t some generic process.  It’s individualized, and healing times vary.  Then there’s that very important word: patience.  Good things come to those who wait.  And, I wait because healing is a process.  But, sometimes it can be ugly.”

“Scars are typically ugly as they go into the healing process.  Scars start out looking angry, thick and red.”

I remember the day I told my family about my rape.  Weeks before my counselor and I had talked about if I was ready.  I wondered and waited, thinking about the point I was at in my healing process.  One day I decided, “I’m ready!  Yes – I’m really ready!”  So, I sat down and wrote an email.  But, the tug of war hadn’t relented and those voices in my head fought back, “No…this will be too painful for them.  What will they think and say when they read your email?”


That email sat for several more weeks.  And then a day in April came.  That was the day I was going to hit ‘Send’.  I needed to hit ‘Send’!  My wound was ready to scab over – to move to the next step in the process.


You see, I had been wounded for nearly ten years.  A cold January night in Denver, Colorado, changed my life forever.  My job took me out West with some coworkers.  That night we drank too much.  At some point, I woke up in a room with a man I barely knew.  He threw me on the bed and raped me.  I tried to get him off, but the effects of the alcohol and his bigger posture made it impossible.  When he was done, he threw my clothes at me and shoved me out the door.  Hitting the wall, I lay in a heap in a hotel hallway wondering how a successful woman in her twenties had just become a rape victim.  Nothing made sense at that point in time! 


Because of the pain, I drank heavily for months, which turned into years, until I had repressed any thought of Denver deep in my mind.  Nine and a half years later, while listening to a Christian podcast, that horrific moment burst out in full force into my awareness.  Months of therapy followed.  I was on a train I so badly wanted to stop riding.  Finally, on that day in April, the train came to a screeching halt.

I hit ‘Send’.  The calls came and the tears ran.  Those tears were like precious drops of healing rain!  Jesus wiped away every tear; He collected them one by one.  He held my hand, stroked my hair and whispered, “Shhhhh…it’s o.k.  I’m right here.  I know it’s not fair this happened to you.  But, I was there.  I saw you.  I will turn that night around and make it good.”  By the end of the day, I was exhausted and looked like I had been through a flu pandemic.  From the outside, that day was ugly, but something was happening.  My wound was slowly, ever so slowly, starting to heal…

Shortly after the calls from my family, the fog slowly began to lift and the epiphany came.  My mind drifted straight to Jesus.  He was God-made-human two thousand plus years ago.  He felt the same pain we suffer.  Physical pain and emotional pain left Him with many scars.  His scars followed Him to His death.  His most painful scars gave us life and ultimate healing.


“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)


By His wounds, we are healed.  Those words are like salve, penetrating deeply into my soul.  By HIS wounds, WE are healed!  We’ve all been hurt.  We all have our trophy scars, and we’re all yearning for healing.  The solution makes perfect sense!  Call out to Jesus and ask Him to heal us.  Jesus never delays, and He’ll regenerate your heart.  No, it’s true; some of your scars may never fully go away, but consider the words found in Galatians:


“From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.”  Galatians 6:17 (NLT)


People can be cruel; they make bad choices, leaving us with pain.  Because we belong to Jesus, we will endure suffering.  These trials leave scars, each needing to go through the healing process.  No matter what we endure and no matter what scars we are given, we can find solace that we belong to Jesus.  He’s the ultimate Healer and can help us conquer life’s challenges.  Our scars will remain to remind us where we’ve been and what we’ve experienced.  In victory, we can cry out to Jesus and rise above the pain being ultimately healed! 


“Never be ashamed of the scars life has left you with.  A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed, you endured the pain and God has healed you.”  Anonymous

To the blogging world, I am 'Break of Dawn' due to the personal content of my blog.  I am in the process of revealing my true identity on  Watch for this reveal in the very near future.  Until then, I am a lover of Christ, wife, and mom who writes to bring healing.