God instructs us to "pray without ceasing," and in His kindness, He has supplied us with a whole book (the Bible) to use to guide us in our prayers! We have many favorites, but here are five passages to get you started.
Luke 2:52 - Audra's Pick
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature,
and in favor with God and man.”
I pray, that like Jesus, my children would grow in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man.
1 Timothy 4:12 - Laura's Pick
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech,
in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
Our daughter is ten and we have already seen the Lord use her in mighty ways for His kingdom! I pray she always sets an example through her words and her actions that Jesus is Lord of her life.
Ephesians 6:13-17 - Rebecca's Pick
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
All of my children have received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. While I rejoice in this knowledge, I am aware that because of this they face the enemy just like I do. Therefore, I frequently pray each piece of the armor of God onto each child so that they will be able to withstand any attacks that they face.
Joshua 1:7 - Tammy's Pick
Above all, be strong and very courageous.
Be careful to observe all the law My servant Moses commanded you.
Do not turn from it to the right or to the left,
so that you may prosper wherever you go.
With every candle my children add to their birthday cake, the call of the world increases. I can fret and try to shelter them, but the most powerful thing I can do for my kiddos is to pray Scripture over them day and night. God loves them so much more than I. I'm so thankful for the peace that truth brings to my momma heart.
3 John 4 - Guest 's Pick
I have no greater joy than this,
to hear of my children walking in the truth.
There are a sea of voices and personalities that beg for our attention as we scroll through social media. Who should we give an ear to? Which ones handle God's Word carefully and spur us on to Godly living? While we have many, here are our Top 5 favorites.
Lauren Finch - Audra's pick
Lauren is a personal friend who loves Jesus and her family well. Her blog is full of fashion advice, helpful mommy tips, yummy recipes, and so much more. And if that’s not enough, you will quickly fall in love with her sweet family as she shares what real life is like inside The Finch Nest.
Natalie Grant - Laura's pick
I don’t talk about my love for music too often on the blog, but it’s a passion I have had since I was a little girl. Natalie Grant is one of my favorite Christian artists and I love following her on social media! She is genuine and authentic as she let’s you in on the daily life of her family and career. She loves the Lord and points people to Him through not only her lyrics, but also how she lives her life.
Kay Arthur - Rebecca's pick
Sadly, many from my generation and generations after me aren't very familiar with Kay Arthur. What a blessing they are missing! She is one of the original mainstream Bible teachers, emerging on the scene before I was even born. In her decades of Bible teaching, she has not strayed nor wavered from teaching solid, Bible-based truth.
Kay teaches me to examine the Scriptures with a fine-tooth comb, taking in every jot and tittle. Every word is important! She is the queen of context and breaks down verses and thoroughly explains what is going on. She has devoted herself to teaching God's Word and says that she will do it until she takes her last breath (after having outright rejected God in her early years). There's nobody that I want to grow up and be like more than her!
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth - Tammy's pick
She doesn't know it, but Nancy has mentored me for over a decade. Her daily radio show has been a source of light during the dark times, a source of correction in the areas of my faith I had watered down, and a source of encouragement to run this race well for the Lord.
Not only is her radio program a valuable source, but her blog offers a myriad of resources. She's included screensavers with Bible verses, 30-day challenges, blog posts for young girls, as well as resources to aid me in becoming a better Jesus girl, wife, mother & friend.
I'm so thankful for her impact in my life, even if it is just over the airwaves.
Priscilla Shirer - Guest's pick
As the By Faith She Girls always say, continue to examine and re-examine every author, speaker and teacher. With that being said, each time I have heard Priscilla, or read one of her Bible studies, it has always been Biblically solid! She tells the truth, she’s very real, and she encourages women to live for the Lord in a bold way! Her teaching is never from her own opinion and is always chalked full of Scripture.
It's our first birthday!! To celebrate, we want to reflect on this past year, recalling God's faithfulness throughout, and share our favorite blog posts. Grab a comfy blanket, snuggle up, and enjoy!
Audra's Favorite Pick
Goodness, what a year it has been. As we celebrate our first birthday today and I reflect on this past year, I'm reminded of the many "firsts" that I have walked through this year. Hard things. Things I wouldn't choose if I got to pick. Things, that in all honesty, have at times caused me to ask God the age old question, "Why?".
BUT SISTER, I know you already know, that when The Lord allows you to walk through a difficult season, He always has a reason. And the refining and faith building that takes place in those seasons is something that unfortunately you can't get any other way.
Reading back over this post has almost brought me to tears. Not because I am remembering the pain, but because I'm reminded, and I hope you will be to, of what a good God our Heavenly Father is!
Laura's Favorite Pick
This is a vlog I recorded back in May. I sure wouldn't say it's my favorite because it was a major refining moment for me and that's never fun! But, the Lord took a poor parenting moment and He taught me how to handle it differently the next time, and He also gave me a story to share with you ladies. I'm thankful His mercies are new every morning!
Rebecca's Favorite Pick
When thinking over which post has been my favorite, I kept coming back to this one. Did it get the most views? No. Did it get the most likes? No. Did it get the most shares? No. If going solely by the numbers, this post would not crack the Top 10. So, why am I choosing it as my favorite? I'm choosing it because of what it means to me.
I struggled a great deal with this calling. I wasn't an experienced writer. The grammar police probably cringe at my writings. And, let's not even think about commas and semicolons. I am also no theologian. The careful handling, interpretation and application of Scripture is imperative for this calling. It has sidelined many posts on my docket simply because I know I need to dig deeper and verify, verify, verify. Then, there comes the lacing and weaving together of the post itself. Taking it from start to finish, communicating from my heart to yours, in hopes that it will stretch, strengthen, and grow your faith. All in a week's work, huh?
See why I was intimidated? See why I kept saying, "No, Lord! I can't!" for a solid six months before my first post, "By Faith She...Became a Writer," went live? I knew that I could not do this. Simply could not. But... Because I trusted Him, the Lord has turned me into a writer. He is teaching me each and every week as I go. This first post means a lot to me because without it there would not have been a second, or a third, or any others that have followed.
This post reminds us that our callings are never in our comfort zones. If they were, we wouldn't need the Lord to help us. But, when we, by faith, step out into whatever He is asking us to do, we experience HIM like never before.
Tammy's Favorite Pick
I encounter many precious women with hard stories: unresolved conflict, failure, hurt, fear, doubt, loss, no oomph to keep going, etc. All are hard and make me ache. However, in the valleys and deserts of life, it is life-giving to remember that God is good. Moreover, that He is faithful. And He longs for us to be "all in" in this grand adventure He's placed us in.
There have been many a post I love, but this post sums up the message I believe God has given me: Life is hard, but God is good and worth the effort it takes for us to thrive in our hard places. So, my friend, in your hard place "What if you are exactly where you are supposed to be?"
Reader's Favorite Pick
To round out our Top 5, we asked one of our faithful readers, Holley, to share with us which By Faith She blog post has been her favorite this year. We asked, "Which blog has stuck with you the most?" And, this is the one she chose.
How to Become a Giant Slayer! helped to kick off our blog during the first week. Slaying giants by standing on the power of God's Word was our theme going into this, and it has remained our theme throughout. Tammy articulated this so well and gave each of us a powerful charge with her words. Thank you Holley for going back into the archives and reminding us of this special gem!
Wait a minute! We love hearing from you, our dear reader! You are on our hearts when we write, so we love when you private message us, email us, and comment under each post. We've read each and every one. Please comment below which post or posts have impacted you the most this year!
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Audra's pick -
Secret Keeper Girl/The Beginner's Bible Devo - Laura's pick
We have a bit of an age gap with our kids. We have a tween daughter and a three year old son. So I am recommending two different devotionals based on age. For an older child, we love Secret Keeper Girl. They also have a boy version called Born To Be Brave. I will never forget the first Secret Keeper Girl LIVE event I took my daughter to! It was filled with bright colors, funky clothes, fun worship and speakers that spoke truth from Scripture right to her heart! I quickly went to research their resources and found several that we have loved! For our three year old, we love the Beginner's Bible Devotional. It's a great way to introduce Bible stories into their little hearts.
The Jesus Storybook Bible - Rebecca's pick
The Jesus Storybook Bible is what we started all of our children on. It tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible. At the center of the Story is a baby, the child upon whom everything will depend. Every story whispers his name. From Noah to Moses to the great King David---every story points to him. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle---the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will pick up the clues and piece together the puzzle.
What I especially love about this beautifully written and illustrated Bible is that it is also the PERFECT Bible for new believers. Parents can learn as their children are learning! It is a Bible for everyone and produces many "aha!" moments as it clearly connects the dots of Scripture into one seamless story. And, it makes a perfect gift, too!
Kingdom Quest - Tammy's pick
You want your kids to be wise and make wise decisions? This study takes the guess work out of equipping our children on how to be wise and prayerfully make wise decisions. Each session offers a key to wise living, applicable verses, great discussion questions, and even a fun quiz for kids to see where they stand in that week's topic. We love it! It is offered in three different age appropriate levels. You can go as quickly or as slowly as you want. We choose to do a chapter a week, three days a week.
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing - Noel's pick
Being a momma to 4 kiddos under 6, we use a variety of resources. This devotional is written by the author of the Jesus Storybook Bible that Rebecca recommended. It is beautifully written and illustrated. It’s always sparked some great conversations.
Tuck Them In - Audra’s Pick
We try to be intentional at night time when putting our kids to bed. We always make a point to tuck them in, talk through the day, pray as a family, and let them ask any questions they may have. This is a sweet time to be able to unpack what has happened in everyone’s day, since the school year is such a busy time!
Scripture Memory In the Car - Laura's Pick
I can’t take credit for this one, but my husband is so good at using the undivided attention during the car ride to school. He drops our daughter off at school every morning and they memorize a scripture each week during that 5-7 minute drive. Usually on Monday or Tuesday she tells me what verse they are memorizing and then by Friday she is reciting it to me.
Pray Out Loud For Them - Rebecca's Pick
When one of my children is facing a big day, I like to pray out loud for them as we are driving to school. I will ask the Lord to give them quick recall and clarity during their test. Or, I'll ask Him to take away their anxious spirit and replace it with a spirit of peace before presenting a project. As I pray, I try to ask for specific things (not just that they would "do well") so that they will be able to see the undeniable answers to that prayer and give thanks to the Lord. On days that I don't pray aloud, I always pray for them after everyone is dropped off.
Verse Flip Book - Tammy's Pick
One of my "Terrific Three" struggled greatly with anxiety. After praying for direction, the Lord gave me the idea to make her a verse flip book to help her learn to allow God's Word to comfort her heart.
1. I purchased a flimsy $1 photo book.
2. I looked up my favorite "God is with me" verses and printed them.
3. I inserted them into the photo book and gave it to her as a reminder that while I won't always be with her, God is!
My print and cut and stuff version is pictured below. You can make it as fancy or as simple as you want. This verse flip book is from a couple of years ago. She still carries it in her backpack to this day.
Teach them to be independent without nagging -
We have a white board on our fridge that lists what my boys need to do before school, after school, and what types of food can be packed in lunches. This allows them to check the list when they aren’t sure if they have everything ready and I’m not asking each child a million times if they filled their water bottle. On the first day of school this year, my boy that loves routine asked for the list to be re-written as it still had summer lists on it. You better believe I wrote it after drop off!
Chicken Bites- Audra's pick
This recipe was introduced to us by one of our favorite families, during a small group party. It’s one that my family and even some friends request often!
2 lbs Chicken Breast
2 Fresh Jalapeños (optional)
1 Large Package Bacon
1 Block Cream Cheese
Salt and Pepper Chicken to Preference
Box of Toothpicks
Cut chicken into bite size nuggets and place in ziplock bag. Cover the chicken with Italian dressing and marinate for an hour or more.
Meanwhile, cut the entire package of bacon in half, and cut both jalapeños into small squares. Lay the strips of bacon out on a tray or on the counter.
Time to build your bites!
Place a piece of chicken on each strip of bacon, followed by a teaspoon full of cream cheese, and last, a piece of jalapeño.
Wrap the bacon around the chicken and secure each end with a toothpick.
Grill the chicken bites over an indirect flame, at a low temperature, for around an hour. The bacon should be crispy and the chicken should be cooked completely.
Serve with your favorite summer sides and enjoy! These are sure to be a hit at your next pool party!
Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad - Laura's pick
I remember the very first time we visited a particular local restaurant with some friends. They insisted that we try the Grilled Romaine Salad. Lettuce...on a grill?? How odd is that? But...oh WOW! Hands down the best salad I have had! We now have perfected this restaurant specialty at home and you can too!
All you need is romaine lettuce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Separate the romaine leaves on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and add a little salt and pepper. Place lettuce face down on the grill until it’s a little wilted. Add parmesan flakes and the dressing of your choice. We sometimes add grilled chicken too.
This is quick and easy and has become a summer favorite at our house!
Grilling in Bulk - Rebecca's pick
I don't have a particular grilling recipe that I love but I DO love it when my husband grills in bulk! He grills on the weekends and it's always enough meat, chicken, and pork to last the entire week. Lunches and dinners are a breeze! And, it helps us to stay on our eating plans (Trim Healthy Mama for me and low-carb for him). I just have to add fruits or veggies!
Grilled Peaches - Tammy's pick
Oh my goodness! If you've never eaten a grilled peach, you're in for a delightful treat!
1. After we finish grilling our meat, we half and de-pit peaches.
2. Brush with a little olive oil and place cut side down on the grill.
3. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes.
4. Place the cooked peach in a bowl.
5. Enjoy as is or top with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
Taco Dip- Jaclyn's pick
This is my husband’s favorite taco dip (so unhealthy but oh so good). It’s not necessarily for summer but that tends to be when we make it.
2 cans of bean dip
3 medium ripe avocados
1 cup of sour cream
Half a cup of mayo
1 package taco seasoning
1 -8oz block of sharp Cheddar cheese
2 Roma tomatoes
Small can of sliced black olives
3 green onion stalks
Half of a lime
Dash of salt and pepper.
On a serving plate spread 2 cans of bean dip. Mash avocados and mix with salt and pepper and lime until smooth. Spread on top of bean dip. Mix sour cream and mayo with taco seasoning. Spread on top of avocado. Grate entire block of cheese and put on top of sour cream mixture. Dice tomatoes and put on top of cheese. Drain olives and put on top of tomatoes. Chop green onions and add on last. Serve with tortilla chips or fresh veggies. Delish!!
Water Play - Audra's Favorite
Jordan and I have always enjoyed lake trips since even before we were married. Fishing, tubing, playing hard all day in the sun. Now our kids love it too! In fact, Asher's first trip to the lake took place before he was even born. This is a picture of him with a friend when they were 4 years old. He was teaching her how to fish. Whether with friends or family, we always have a great time!
Slip-N-Slide - Laura's Favorite
Oh, how we love Summer! You won’t even hear us complain about the heat...well maybe if it’s over 100 degrees! We have an amazing hill at our house that’s perfect for a slip-n-slide and it’s by far our favorite thing to do in the summer. Whether it’s just our little family of four or if it’s lots of friends, there is always so much laughter and fun as we race down the hill and end up in the mud and grass! All you need is an industrial roll of plastic from a hardware store, a water hose and we prefer Dawn dishwashing liquid. We have tried many different soap/baby oil alternatives, and nothing does the job as well! Our kids ask for plastic and soap as gifts now for their birthday or Christmas! Ha!
Amusement Parks - Rebecca's Favorite
My family loves summer! Summertime is when we thrive!! Lots of quality time and togetherness! We especially love spending long days at amusement parks. This thrill-seeking family hasn't met a roller coaster that we haven't wanted to ride again & again! Strolling through the parks, drinking endless refills, and laughing all throughout the day makes amusement park days memorable days indeed (as long as the heat is tolerable, lol)!
Mission Trips - Tammy's Favorite
For most of my life mission trip was not something I would have put at the top of my summer to do list. That was until 7 years ago. Seven years ago, my man and I took a leap of faith and traveled 18 hours south to a small town on the TX/MX border. Our lives have never been the same.
Our kiddos were 5, 8, & 10 at the time. We traveled across the Rio Grande each day to one of the most dangerous cities on the North American continent. But in this dangerous area were pockets of precious families not sure where their next meal was coming from. They were in desperate want of basic needs such as medicine, and diapers, and a kind word. Most of all, their hearts needed the good news of Jesus. Our world was rocked.
To see my children be the hands and feet of Jesus does something to a momma's heart. To see my man used in ways out of his comfort zone made me love him more. To step out of my own little, selfish world changed me. I was hooked.
This is our 7th summer we've taken a week out of our summer to be in one of our favorite places on earth, a place that stretches us and grows us and gives us a little taste of heaven. That is why Mission Trips is my Top 5 choice for summer. I challenge you to make it yours, also. God truly catches you and grows you when you take a leap of faith for Him.
Homemade Pizza and Game Night - Kaci's Favorite
I love summer. I love everything about it and I always have. However since having children I have quickly learned our summers look a lot different than they did in the past. I have 2 little boys, one who just turned 4 and the other who just learned to walk. As a new mom one thing my husband and I do is declare Fridays for family. My 4 year old now refers to them as “family fun nights.”
One of our favorite things to do as a family is just a good ole’ fashioned game night and a homemade pizza contest. It’s a great way to beat the heat but still be intentional on how we spend our time together. I'm learning, as a new mom, there are lessons to be taught in almost everything we do. Game night and pizza contests are a great way to teach our 4 year old the value of teamwork, creativity, how to follow direction and that we don’t always win, and that’s ok. Simple family games such as Hungry Hungry Hippos, Operation, Kerplunk and Chutes & Ladders are some our all-time favorites . We grab our favorite snacks (usually consisting of sugar cookies and M&M's per my 4 year old's request) and deck out our dining room table. In a world where technology and social media is constantly robbing us of our time, taking it back to simple moments is just what this momma heart needs.
Homemade pizza contests are something my husband and I have done for the past 8 years and have since turned into a family favorite. We all make a trip to the store and pick out our favorite toppings. (I lose this contest every time but will never admit it to my boys) Pillsbury makes an easy dough to roll out and bake. Grab your favorite marinara sauce, and toppings and then let your kids do the rest, even if that consists of your kitchen looking like a bomb went off when you are finished .I love watching us all make our pizza with our favorite toppings. Each is so different. While mine is loaded with veggies, my husbands with meat and my sons with cheese only, I am reminded once again of how God creates us to be different. To like different things. To be our own person.
“Family fun nights” don’t have to be expensive, they don’t have to consist of even leaving your home, it just takes a little effort to make the choice to put the phones away and to love each other. To invest in one another. I look at my “family of boys” and love watching all our different personalities come to life through old fashioned board games and simple pizza making contests. Friday nights have easily become my favorite day of the week and I think it’s safe to say they are my boys, too.