Author Archives: Stephanie Nickel

#UTCOP – A Day Marked by Prayer

A Day Marked by Prayer

by Stephanie Nickel

a-day-marked-by-prayer-stephanie-nickel-pixabay.com

from pixabay.com

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

As I sat in the evening church service, I recommitted myself to beginning the day with prayer even before I roll out of bed. Then I thought about the prayers that could be inspired by my day-to-day life.

The following prayers can act as springboards throughout the day.

Prayer of Commitment

It could be as simple as saying, “Lord, thank You for the day before me. May I honour and glorify You, and may I bless those I come in contact with.”

Prayer of Protection

As we go about our morning routine, we can pray through the armour of God. “Lord, no matter what the enemy throws at me, may I stand . . . the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness and firm footing of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Your Word), and prayer all firmly in place.” (See Ephesians 6.)

Prayer of Empowerment

Whether we’re students, stay-at-home parents, blue collar workers making minimum wage, or corporate execs, we all face daily challenges. And God is there to help. And we must remember God’s command to do everything as unto Him, which includes schoolwork, housework, and paperwork (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“Dear Lord, may I honour You as I face this day’s joys and challenges. May I accomplish each task to the best of my ability, leaning on You for wisdom, strength, and direction.”

Prayer of Connection

Each individual we come in contact with—in person, on the phone, or online—is someone we can pray for. It may be especially difficult to pray for those people who give us nothing but grief, but it’s important for them—and for us—that we do so.

“Dear Lord, I pray that in all my interactions I will glorify You. And today, Lord, I pray that You will bless each person I come in contact with. If they don’t know You, please draw them to Yourself. And if they do, draw them ever closer. May I be a blessing in each life. May I be a Christlike example.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Even after a particularly difficult day, there are many things to be thankful for: God’s provision, family, friends, a home, clothes to wear, food to eat, the abilities He has given us, and so much more. And there will be days that the first thing we thank Him for is that it’s over. Hopefully those days are few and far between.

“Dear God, I have so many reasons to thank You. It’s harder to remember that some days, but help me to do so. Thank You that You are unchanging, that You love me on my good days—and on the days I’d just as soon forget. Lord, even if I blew it today, thank You that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start. Please bring to mind the things I have to be thankful for, especially when the negativity presses in.”

Prayer of Release

The end of the day is a wonderful time to release our worries, doubts, and fears to Him. Remember “he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2 ESV). A good night’s rest is a gift from God.

There may be family concerns, problems at work, or health issues to contend with when we awaken, but if we open our hands and hearts and release our cares to the Lord, we can rest assured that He, indeed, cares for us.

“Lord, thank You that Your Word assures us of Your love and care. May I trust You to take care of me and all those I love. Even when things aren’t as I’d like them to be, may I rest in You. May I have confidence that You are working all things together for my good. May I enjoy the sleep You’ve promised to Your beloved. May I wake refreshed, ready to begin again for Your glory. Amen.”

Tweetable

Lord, may each moment of my day be marked by prayer. (tweet this)

Steph Beth Nickel

Steph-Nickel-web-

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, photography, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her author website, Steph Beth Nickel, is a work-in-progress.

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

 

 

 

#UTCOP – How to Pray for Today

How to Pray for Today

by Stephanie Nickel

How-to-pray-for-today

Only Today

How can I glorify You TODAY?
How can I make You known TODAY?
How can I draw closer to You TODAY?
How can I abide in Christ TODAY?

How can I go into all the world TODAY?
How can I store up treasures in heaven TODAY?
How can I rejoice in the Lord TODAY?
How can I enter Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise TODAY?

How can I keep my eyes on the Author and Finisher of my faith TODAY?
How can I fulfill those good works You’ve prepared for me to accomplish TODAY?
How can I be anxious for nothing but pray about everything TODAY?
How can I run and not be weary, walk and not faint TODAY?

How can I wait upon You and mount up with wings as eagles TODAY?
How can I study to show myself approved TODAY?
How can I pray without ceasing TODAY?
How can I take my thoughts captive to Christ TODAY?

How can I exercise the mind of Christ TODAY?
How can I be clothed in Christ TODAY?
How can I love You completely TODAY?

TWEETABLE

May I honour You and bless others TODAY? – a prayer #UTCOP. (tweet this)

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, photography, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her author website, Steph Beth Nickel, is a work-in-progress.

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

#UTCOP – How to Have a Day Marked by Prayer

How to Have A Day Marked by Prayer

by Stephanie Nickel

How-to-Have-a-Day-Marked-by-Prayer

Public Domain Pixabay.com

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

As I sat in the evening church service, I recommitted myself to beginning the day with prayer even before I roll out of bed. Then I thought about the prayers that could be inspired by my day-to-day life.

The following prayers can act as springboards throughout the day.

Prayer of Commitment

It could be as simple as saying, “Lord, thank You for the day before me. May I honour and glorify You, and may I bless those I come in contact with.”

Prayer of Protection

As we go about our morning routine, we can pray through the armour of God.

Lord, no matter what the enemy throws at me, may I stand . . . the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness and firm footing of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Your Word), and prayer all firmly in place. (See Ephesians 6.)

Prayer of Empowerment

Whether we’re students, stay-at-home parents, blue collar workers making minimum wage, or corporate execs, we all face daily challenges. And God is there to help. And we must remember God’s command to do everything as unto Him, which includes schoolwork, housework, and paperwork (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“Dear Lord, may I honour You as I face this day’s joys and challenges. May I accomplish each task to the best of my ability, leaning on You for wisdom, strength, and direction.”

Prayer of Connection

Each individual we come in contact with—in person, on the phone, or online—is someone we can pray for. It may be especially difficult to pray for those people who give us nothing but grief, but it’s important for them—and for us—that we do so.

“Dear Lord, I pray that in all my interactions I will glorify You. And today, Lord, I pray that You will bless each person I come in contact with. If they don’t know You, please draw them to Yourself. And if they do, draw them ever closer. May I be a blessing in each life. May I be a Christlike example.”

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Even after a particularly difficult day, there are many things to be thankful for: God’s provision, family, friends, a home, clothes to wear, food to eat, the abilities He has given us, and so much more. And there will be days that the first thing we thank Him for is that it’s over. Hopefully those days are few and far between.

“Dear God, I have so many reasons to thank You. It’s harder to remember that some days, but help me to do so. Thank You that You are unchanging, that You love me on my good days—and on the days I’d just as soon forget. Lord, even if I blew it today, thank You that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start. Please bring to mind the things I have to be thankful for, especially when the negativity presses in.”

Prayer of Release

The end of the day is a wonderful time to release our worries, doubts, and fears to Him. Remember “he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2 ESV).

A good night’s rest is a gift from God.

There may be family concerns, problems at work, or health issues to contend with when we awaken, but if we open our hands and hearts and release our cares to the Lord, we can rest assured that He, indeed, cares for us.

“Lord, thank You that Your Word assures us of Your love and care. May I trust You to take care of me and all those I love. Even when things aren’t as I’d like them to be, may I rest in You. May I have confidence that You are working all things together for my good. May I enjoy the sleep You’ve promised to Your beloved. May I wake refreshed, ready to begin again for Your glory. Amen.”

Tweetable

Lord, may each moment of my day be marked by prayer. (tweet this)

 

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, photography, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her author website, Steph Beth Nickel, is a work-in-progress.

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

How to Rediscover Prayer Walking

How to Rediscover Prayer Walking

by Stephanie Nickel

how-to-rediscover-prayer-walking

A few months back we began fostering a friend’s German Shepherd. This led to 15-30 minute walks each day. Since I’m not a huge fan of cardio exercise, the daily walk was a benefit to me. But even more importantly, I rediscovered the joy of prayer walking.

Below are some suggestions you might want to incorporate into your own prayer life.

Give Thanks

I thank God for many things while I walk.
For the ability to walk
For eyesight
For hearing
For physical health
For the ability to think
For the invitation to commune with Him

Once I begin to give thanks, one thing leads to the next, which leads to the next, which leads to the next.

Prayer for Strangers

I pray for the residents in the houses along the route I walk.
I pray for the owners, the employees, and the patrons of the businesses I pass.
I pray for the motorists and pedestrians I encounter.

Prayer for Replacement

I pray that God would replace negatives with positives in the lives of those along my route.
Doubt with saving faith
Darkness with light
Despair with hope
Loneliness with companionship
Turmoil with peace
Woundedness with healing
Lies with truth
Spiritual blindness with spiritual eyesight

The Opportunity to Listen

As I observe the beauty of the Creator’s handiwork, He reveals more about Himself. Oh, that I would have ears to “hear”!

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20, ESV).

I admit that I am easily distracted. The physical activity of walking actually helps to keep me focused. Plus, of course, I do thank the Lord for things and pray for individuals I am less likely to pray for during my prayer time at home.

What advantages of prayer walking have you discovered?

Tweetable:

God invites you to discover the wonders of prayer walking. (tweet this)

 

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, photography, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is available from Amazon and directly from the publisher, Castle Quay Books, among other places. 
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a more recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her author website, Steph Beth Nickel, is a work-in-progress.

You can also find her at Steph’s Facebook and Steph’s Twitter.

Can You be a Pinch Hit Prayer Warrior?

Pinch Hit Prayer Warrior

by Stephanie Nickel

Can you be a pinch hit prayer warrior?

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

We all know them
The pray-ers
Those we can go to
When we are burdened
For ourselves
Or someone else

They’re the 1:00 AM Prayer Warriors
We don’t have to worry about disturbing them
It’s no surprise when we find
They’re already awake
In prayer
Maybe even for us

But what happens
When the pray-ers
Are tired
Or knocked out of the game
By a ball they didn’t see coming

Who can they call on
When they have to sit out
For an inning or two

When we’re called in to be
A pinch hitter
Will we be ready?

Not to do things like the Warriors always have
But to face the challenge

Step up to the plate
And hit a home run
For the player on the bench
And the entire team

Who is now counting on us

Dear Lord . . . May I be willing to step up when those precious Prayer Warriors need to step back. I pray that You will surround them with Your love and peace. And may they rest assured that You will raise up those who will faithfully pinch hit on their behalf. Refresh them. Renew them. And restore them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetable:

Can You be a Pinch Hit Prayer Warrior? (tweet this)

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.

Is Each Teardrop a Prayer?

Is Each Teardrop a Prayer?

by Stephanie Nickel

tears-in-a-bottle-Psalm-56-8

Hand against the window, tears running down my cheeks, I again committed my firstborn, my Beloved Gift of God, to the Lord. Robert Q, the airport shuttle, was taking him away. He was off to begin the next phase of his life.

The next day I got word from his girlfriend that he had arrived safe and sound across the Pond. He now lives in the home of our ancestors, the home of haggis and black pudding – both of which he likes.

Right now, Nathanial is on a search for truth. I pray that he will soon rediscover the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I pray, too, that his girlfriend and her family will also come to know the Saviour.

Six years ago we put our second born on a plane to attend Bible college two provinces away. He has come home for a number of visits and we were privileged to attend his graduation two years ago. But, for the time being, Saskatchewan is his home.

When a mother says goodbye, a little piece of her heart goes with each child. As parents, we want to prepare our children to soar on their own, but it isn’t easy to watch them take flight – whether figuratively or literally.

Our youngest is still living at home but is hoping to soon have enough resources to stretch her wings and take flight as well. For now, she is enjoying her new room. The loft was Nathanial’s since we moved in twelve years ago.

I have shed many tears as a parent: tears of joy, tears of frustration (mostly with myself), tears of pride, tears of agony, tears of nostalgia, etc., etc., etc. Though not all of these tears have prompted a verbal prayer, I am thankful that our great God knows our heart, knows every desire, and sees every tear.

More than that, the psalmist believed the Lord gathered each of his tears. What a beautiful picture!

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:8-11 ESV).

As a mother of three grown children, this song by Keith and Kristen Getty always brings prayer-filled tears to my eyes . . .

Sometimes tears “say” what our words cannot. May I be willing to allow my prayers to flow down my cheeks, not only prayers for my children but prayers for many of the precious ones God has brought into my life.

Tweetable:

Sometimes tears “say” what our words cannot. (click to tweet)

The psalmist believed the Lord gathered each of his tears.

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.

How to be Thankful Throughout the Year

How to Be Thankful Throughout the Year

by Stephanie Nickel

How-to-be-thankful

One of my Facebook friends took a challenge in 2013 to list 1,200 reasons to be thankful. When my mother-in-law gave me a journal for Christmas, it didn’t take long to decide what I would use it for.

I got a jump start and listed the first 100 reasons in December.

If you need a little direction, below are some ideas to get you started:

January

The first month of the year is typically a month of new beginnings. What “new beginnings” are you thankful for? (i.e.: the events surrounding your new birth in Christ; the start of your family; new jobs; new homes; etc.)

February

The month the world is focused on love is a great time to think of the people you love. Don’t just list their names. Also list specifics about what you love and appreciate about them. (You may even want to take the time to touch base with them and let them know they’re on your mind and in your prayers.)

March

No matter how you feel about winter, you may be getting tired of the cold, grey days. Recording why you’re thankful for winter can help turn your thinking around.  (i.e.: clothes, a warm home, places to go even though you have to brave the elements, your favourite hot drink, etc.)

April

Springtime, a time when new life bursts forth in the Northern Hemisphere, is a wonderful time to look to creation and thank the Lord for things you may not usually notice. (I never watched the progress of budding trees before my hubby pointed them out to me.)

May

The nicer weather is upon us. Like a warm hug, it reminds us of those things that bring us a sense of peace and security. What a great springboard for gratitude!

June

School is winding down for the summer. Parents and teachers are encouraging children to end strong. Let’s think about “the golden years” and ending our lives strong. What are you thankful for now that you’re “older”? If you’re not considered a senior yet, think of those who are. What reasons to be thankful come to mind?

July

Sunshine. Blue skies. Warm weather. What reasons do you have to be thankful this summer – and from summers gone by?

August

August means holiday time for many. Even if you are not able to get away, think about how you can step back from the busyness of the day-to-day and think of the many things there are to be thankful for.

September

Back to school . . . Think back over your years in school. What are you thankful for? Plus, we never stop learning (or we shouldn’t, at least). What new discoveries “blow your mind”?

October

Autumn is my favourite season. I love the colours, the nip in the air, the smell of fallen leaves. It takes me back to my childhood. Childhood memories—though some may be difficult—still bring many reasons to be thankful.

November

I read a very good argument about why we shouldn’t say, “It was a God thing.” Since He is sovereign, everything that comes into our lives was ordained by Him for His purposes. Though it can be extremely difficult to be thankful for challenging situations, it is a wonderful discipline to look for those reasons to praise and thank Him through it all. Trust Him and thank Him for working in even the darkest seasons of life.

December

As the year winds down, why not record 50 things that stand out about 2014 and 50 things you are looking forward to in 2015?

Tweetable:

Find out countless reasons to be thankful. #UTCOP (click to tweet)

Here is a free PDF 0f Countless Reasons to be Thankful if you wish to print out Stephanie’s ideas of how to be thankful.

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.

When Do I Pray?

When Do I Pray?

by Stephanie Nickel

 English: Oil painting, "Praying Hands&quo...

There is always so much to do:

      • Get up – often before we want to.
      • Get ready for work.
      • Drive to work . . . or plop down in our home office.
      • Perhaps, pop by the gym on the way to work (or on the way home).
      • Accomplish what is laid out for that particular day – or, at least, do the best we can.
      • Pop onto our social networks from time to time. (Certainly not everyone can or does do this during the day, but it is increasingly common.)
      • Drive home . . . or close the door of our home office.
      • Prepare supper, eat, and clean-up.
      • Prepare for the following day.
      • Snatch a few minutes for ourselves.
      • Get up and start again.
      • Head to bed.

Of course, your day may look different. Perhaps you’re a student with classes, exams, and projects or, like I was, you are a stay-at-home mom and your work entails caring for your precious sons and daughters. You may not leave home, but you understand busy.

Some of you are even disciplined enough to include daily devotions in your routine. Kudos!

No matter what your day looks like, I encourage you to add two specific times of prayer, if you haven’t already done so.

When you awaken, commit your day to the Lord.

Offer every aspect of it to Him. Ask Him to have His way in and through you. Pray for those people you will encounter, particularly those you find difficult. Take a deep breath – and thank Him that you can do just that. Deliberately, give thanks and you will find your attitude will be immediately more positive. You are now ready to get up – hopefully.

Of course, you can offer up prayers throughout the day – and it’s a wonderful way to deal with each and every situation and individual you encounter, but that’s a topic for another time.

The second time of prayer I want to mention is as you lie in bed at night.

(I admire those who still take the time to kneel beside their bed before crawling under the covers.) It’s OK if you fall asleep while praising and thanking Him and taking your needs and the needs of others before the Lord. Prayer is also a much better alternative to tossing and turning when you are having trouble falling asleep. (This never used to be a problem for me, but I find I am restless a lot more these days.)

Beginning and ending each day with prayer is not a magic pill. It doesn’t ensure that everything will go our way or that our attitude will always be as it should be.

Beginning and ending each day with prayer enables us
to focus on the Lord.
(tweetable)

Since we are to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), this is an effective way to do so. It reminds us we are not alone. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). It reminds us there are things beyond our control – and that’s all right. Our sovereign God will not be surprised by anything that comes our way – and He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

Begin and end your day with prayer. The results may amaze you. (Tweetable)

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.

Can Prayer be a Single Word?

Can Prayer be a Single Word?

by Stephanie Nickel

Prayer

Anyone who knows me, knows I like to talk . . . and talk and talk and talk. I do try to speak only when I have something I feel will add to the conversation – most times, at least.

However, words often seem inadequate when approaching the Throne of Grace. What can I tell the Almighty that He doesn’t already know? What can I ask of Him that He does not already know I need? What eloquence can I use to impress the Creator of all that exists?

Though scripture after scripture urges us to pray without ceasing and persevere in our asking, sometimes the best approach is simply to summarize our heart’s cry.

Below is a list of one-word prayers that sums up how I’ve felt at different times.

Help
No!
Please
Never
Always
Someday
Victory
Surrender
Trusting
Rejoicing
Pleading
Resting

Several times a day, the following two words should emerge from my lips . . .

Thank You

And finally, another two words that are meant as 100 percent submission to His will and His ways . . . In saying them, attitude is everything.

Whatever, Lord

This week the topic of persistence in prayer seems to keep reoccurring. Here are a few more articles about being persistent in prayer.

The Power of Perseverance

Widow – Speak by Rev. Harry Morgan (a video)

Persistent Pray-ers by Violet Nesdoly

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.

Can We Trust in God’s Sovereignty?

Can We Trust in God’s Sovereignty?

by Stephanie Nickel

Christ our King and Judge

Christ our King and Judge (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

There is, perhaps, no more difficult a calling when it comes to our role as parents than to trust God’s sovereignty while accepting our responsibility to raise our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, KJV).

As Christian parents, our hopes and dreams are far-reaching. We want to instill in our children a love for God and His Word. We want to see that they develop friendships with Christian peers and that they look to mature Christian mentors when they need someone besides us to talk to. We also want to teach them the importance of drawing close to God through prayer.

As new parents, we are in the process of developing our walk with the Lord. We may be overwhelmed at the responsibility of caring for our son and daughter. Some days our dreams of being awarded the Most Godly Parent award crash and burn. We may find it difficult just getting through the day.

And then, before we have the chance to blink, they’re grown. If they are walking with the Lord, our heart swells. If they have turned from Him, we look back and wonder what we should have done differently. And, of course, we find many things to add to our List of Regrets.

The weight of those regrets is like an elephant sitting on our chest.

The air is forced from our lungs and our heart feels as if it’s in a vice. We can become immobilized—or we can do what God wants us to. We can run to Him, confess our shortcomings as parents, and trust Him to forgive us.

And we must remember . . . God is sovereign.

At the end of the day, our child’s walk with Him is between the two of them. Even if they have turned and run full steam in the opposite direction, they cannot outrun Him. As Psalm 139 teaches us, there is nowhere we can flee from His presence.

So, as parents, we must ask God to forgive us for our sins and shortcomings. And as parents, we must pour out our hearts for our children, trusting that He loves them even more than we do.

If you are a new parent, I encourage you to pray with and for your little ones. Show them by example how to walk with the Lord. And yet, when you stumble, ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Although you may no longer be able to pray with them, the same applies if your children are grown. Trust that He is, indeed, the God who “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11 ESV).

Trust His sovereignty and be empowered by His Spirit.
Seek to fulfill your responsibilities.

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.