Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Birthday Thoughts and A Give-Away

Well, today is my birthday. Typically, I'm not one to announce that, but I guess with Facebook and 5 children it's no longer a secret!! And honestly, this year it's something God is leading me to address here.

Growing up, I loved my birthday pretty much like every child, but as a teen and adult I was pretty much OK with nobody knowing. I didn't want to be the center of attention and got embarrassed when I was singled out.

I clearly remember one birthday nearly 10 years ago...it was a Sunday and at church everyone sang to me. I wanted to hide behind my young son, but he was too busy running around. Later that day, my brother-in-law was joking with me about turning red and I said, "I don't know why everyone has to make such a big deal out of this." His response? "Jill, we love you and want you to know."

He made a simple statement, but one that was quite powerful! I still think about it when others start to sing the birthday song. For years, I called this behavior humility, but 5 or 6 years ago I realized it's really insecurity. And friend, as Susie Larson says, "Insecurity is a form of selfishness."

So fast forward to this year...just yesterday on the eve of turning 38, a situation took place that revealed I STILL struggle with insecurity, doubt and thinking I really don't matter. Granted I've made progress, but I have a ways to go.

And today, I want to share two resources that have helped me that I plan to revisit in the year to come. I also want to give you an opportunity to win one of them for yourself!

Last week I was walking through a time of frustration and feeling the attack of the enemy...instantly a friend came to mind, who I assumed could be in a similar situation and I thought, "I should pray for her!" Then God quietly whispered to my heart, "Perhaps you should pray for yourself!"

So, so true! I understand the need for that, but I don't always take the time to do it. But it's important and honestly it's not selfish or prideful. Actually it's just the opposite...going before our mighty God takes humility and God will keep our heart pure! So with that story, the first resource I want to share is Julie Gillies' book, "Prayers for a Women's Soul." You can learn more about it HERE. This is a book that has helped me and I trust it would bless you as well.

I realize my struggle with insecurity is something I will never conquer on my own, but I know God has helped me takes steps to overcome this. One big way He helps is by teaching me through His Word. Today I'm excited about a book that is being released that will lead us to the Bible. Wendy Blight's new study, "Living So That" is one that God will speak through to transform us from the inside out. You can learn more about it HERE.

So friend, today on my birthday I want to thank you for the gift you are to me. I appreciate you joining me here as we journey through life and walk in faith. I value the time you give up to read my thoughts and your encouraging comments mean more than you could know. Thank you!! I'd love to share the resources I've mentioned above, so leave a comment sharing which one you'd choose and your email for a chance to win! Then stop back on Friday when I'll be sharing a devotion at The Encouragement Cafe and announcing the winner.

As for me, I'm off to enjoy the day with my greatest gifts...a family who loves me!! I'm grateful for my husband and children, even though their desire to celebrate may wear me out before the day is done!! Here's a glimpse of their love - the first cake Joy has made and decorated entirely by herself!!

Finally, a verse to close our time together. It's one of the first ones I read today and as I get older I thought it was quite appropriate!! But more than that I appreciate the wisdom it holds...I hope you do too!! "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


  1. First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the dearest people in the world to me. And just think...GOD loves you even more and much, much more perfectly!! Sorry I'm not always aware of your struggles as I get wrapped up in my own. But I hope you know I'm always a phone call away. ((HUG))

    Secondly, thanks for sharing this honest post with us; for encouragement and admonishment. I sure appreciate your heart!

    Will be looking forward to your Encouragement Café post on Friday.

    Love you!

  2. Happy Birthday to a sweet, wonderful friend! I hope you are abundantly blessed today!

    Your post was encouraging and thought provoking. I am working through "Experiencing God" with Nicholas. Your post reminds me of a comment in the book: "God knows you can't do it! But He wants to do it Himself through you." That was encouraging to me and helped me to think differently. There is nothing God can't do through a person who is available to God.

    God bless you, Jill

  3. Happy happy birthday! Hope you have a very blessed day!! You are a great source of encouragement to me. I appreciate your prayers for our family, and I will have to look into the Prayers for a Woman's Soul. Enjoy your special day!

  4. Happy Birthday, sweet Jill! I'm sorry you were feeling attacked but humbled that God reminded you to pray for yourself through my book! Your transparency is so encouraging! And how kind of you to give away gifts on your birthday. Thank you for giving mine away! :-)

    I love the cake that Joy made you (good job!) and hope that your fun-filled family birthday doesn't wear you out but refreshes you.

    All the best to you, Jill, for this coming year in your life. May the Lord pour out ABUNDANT blessings on you today and all year long. ((Hug))

  5. Oh, friend! I so get this struggle. I also found Mother's Day particularly hard for many, many years. He is still working on me...getting me to that place where I realize that He is so very glad He made me. That He really and truly does rejoice over me.

    I KNOW He is rejoicing over you! Happy Birthday, friend. I am so glad He made you! :)

  6. Happy Birthday again Jill. I pray you've enjoyed a very special day. Thanks for including the picture of Joy and the cake she baked. INCREDIBLE!!! Well done Joy!!! Wish I was there to share a piece with you. What kind of cake is it? It looks delicious!

    Both the books sound wonderful, but I'm going to check out "Living So That" a little further. LOVE the title!!!
    More birthday blessings, hugs, love and prayers,