A New Way to Lent

So what is it that you gave up for lent? TV? Social media? (that’s me!) Sugar? What if I told you God’s not concerned at all with what you ‘give up’ and totally watching your thankfulness? You might squirm a bit like me, but then realize it’s pretty awesome news.

In the Old Testament (Leviticus) you can read about life before Jesus. How God’s people had to burn up their crops and livestock daily as sacrifices for their sin, guilt… and fellowship with God. I’m pretty sure you don’t have a continual barbeque to the Lord happening on your back porch. Neither do I.

Now we take that last part for granted. Without Jesus’s atonement for your daily sin, you’d still be burning up the best of your summer garden produce or the first bag of groceries you bring home from the store. It’d be a daily reminder you are far from God and something needs to be done to make the relationship right. How awful does that sound??

Instead we go through our day without ever sacrificing because Jesus is the sacrifice needed to restore your relationship with the Father. And what does He want? Not your ‘have to’ offerings or ‘have to give ups’–but your ‘get to’ attitude.

In Psalm 50 God tells His people, look it’s good that you’re trying to make it right day in and day out, but let’s be clear, I don’t need your stuff. You’re not giving me anything that isn’t already mine–the whole world and everything in it to be exact belong to me. So what do I want? Thanksgiving.

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me

Psalm 50:23

Literally the best thing you have to offer God is your attitude. Your thankful praise. Your ‘get to’ instead of ‘have-to’. Your eyes looking up to the actual provider of everything you have and will ever need and acknowledging that everything is His and He’s been generous to you.

It’s a complete mental shift for me. I always want to DO something to show God I love Him. And the good news is He’s done it all. He’s given all. He just wants to gather up my heart and yours and hear you say, Father you’re pretty awesome. Thank you for everything.

So what does that mean for Lent? It means you can still find ways to seek God and practice sacrificial living. But practice THANKSGIVING more than anything. Keep a gratitude journal. Set alarms on your phone 3 times a day to remember to focus on all God has done for YOU. Serve out of the overflow. And model all of this to your kids so they see you in awe of your Father through Lent.

A prayer to get you started….Thank You God for all that you are and all you provide. Including your Son who was the only sacrifice that could fill in the gap between us and heaven. You are so generous and good. I praise you! Amen.

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

Confidence Boost for SAHMs transitioning to Working Mom

So you’ve been home with your kids. Maybe working part-time, maybe not. You sent your last baby to school and now what? You feel like you’re graduating college again. You know you’re qualified to do many things, but you’re also shaking in your boots thinking about interviewing. It’s a huge life choice that affects the whole family! Thoughts swirl. What is it that you want to do? Which way is the right way? Gah! I have good news for you today. You can do this!

I’m there with you. I’m in the space of qualified and feeling unqualified. That uncomfortable place of ‘I once was something different and motherhood shaped me into a new person’. My goals have changed, what I think is important has changed. The way I want to spend my precious time has changed. And it’s ok.

Change is coming for you if you’re a mom.

We have to make peace with that. Right when you get the hang of taking care of littles, they decide to be big. And you’re left packing their onesies into a tub in the basement just in case you want to look the ‘Allstar’ or ‘Momma’s Bestie’ 2T someday. Cue cry.

And let’s be real, the working world doesn’t accept “raised my kids” as qualification on your resume. It can be a daunting and humbling process to reinvent yourself. It can make you feel unprofessional to talk to the HR gatekeeper when you haven’t had adult conversation in months. But let me tell you, wherever you are in the process, God has a plan for you and His success doesn’t depend on how qualified or unqualified you feel.

God has a plan for you and His success doesn’t depend on how qualified or unqualified you feel.

Andrea Chatelain

Let me share with you a verse that empowered me as I interviewed for a position. Job said to the Lord, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted,” (Job 42:2 ESV).

Now God has a sense of humor using a verse from “Job” to encourage us when we are job hunting. But the truth here is serious. Job in his weakness says he knows GOD can do all things and that HIS purpose can’t be thwarted.

So maybe your plans won’t work the way you’d hoped. But as you step out embracing new seasons of life, know that GOD has a plan. HE can do all things even when you feel lost. And HIS plans and purposes can’t be thwarted. So you just have to be brave enough to follow his lead.

Go confidently friend! It’s a bittersweet transition. But God has big plans for you.

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

3 Ways to advance Pro LIFE under a Pro CHOICE Administration

There’s much to celebrate right now, but also much work to be done on many justice fronts. Readers have voiced hopelessness and frustration to me rooted in the topic everyone has an opinion on –abortion. It’s a horrible reality we shouldn’t look away from. But often the Christian gaze is fixed on the effect instead of the cause. And when we yell at the end result, it doesn’t help change those struggling in the middle. So how can we as pro-life Christians, lead the way to change while living under a pro-choice administration? I hope this shows you how much power you’ll always have…

YOUR MOUTH WORKS FOR CHANGE WHERE YOUR FEET MAY NEVER GO:

“And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:7-8

Every woman who has felt abortion was the best option matters to Jesus.

He saw her whole life, the way men abused and used her. The poverty or pain that led her there. The judgmental stares and unmerciful attitudes. The true enemy whispering lies of insecurity and fear in her heart. Her youth and no trusted adults to guide her. Her identity in everything other than His love. And few or no prayers for her. And I believe Jesus has intense mercy, love, and grief for each woman.

We want justice for babies, but it starts with justice for their mothers. And justice for their mothers starts with daily repentant prayer that we haven’t shown up for her in ways Jesus has asked us to love the outcast in Scripture. Me included. But that stops now. God invites us to partner with Him in prayer and His work powerfully moves in people’s hearts we may never personally know. Can you imagine if we all prayed for abortion vulnerable women for 30 days?!

*ACTION PLAN: Commit to 30 DAYS OF PRAYER for ABORTION VULNERABLE WOMEN. (see below) I’ve made it easy with prompts, you do the work believing your mouth is powerful in prayer.

GOD CAN USE YOUR RESOURCES FOR CHANGE:


“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42 ESV

The people on the front lines of love and justice need money to support vulnerable women. I’ve volunteered at low income housing projects for women, helping teach them how to peel carrots for freezer meals and sitting in awe of their stories during Bible study. These are Jesus’s people and they need support. And the people working with them need support and funds.

There are problems galore in the system, but there are lights of hope in individual stories of healing. God is working with or without us, but from the Scripture above, it seems He’d like us to be all in. If we truly are passionate about the issue of abortion beyond simply our opinion, why not invest in the solution?

*Action plan: Search for women’s shelters and pro-adoption clinics in your city. Give boldly to these projects this year as God instructs. If there are none, perhaps you are who God wants to use to start one! Here’s one doing great things in my community…Assure Women’s Center.

YOUR TIME IS POWERFUL:

“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 ESV

Can you mentor young girls so they have a trusted adult before they even hit puberty? Can you sit with a young woman at a Christian pregnancy center while she waits for her ultrasound appointment so she’s not so afraid? Can you spend time having important conversations with your children about how to be a friend to the friendless? Can you volunteer at women’s shelters so they can have a break from motherhood and attend Bible study? There’s always SOMETHING you can DO! And that’s powerful.

When the problem seems so much bigger than one person’s abilities, I always remember I personally can help ONE PERSON. I struggle with getting out of my comfort zone and heck we’re in a pandemic. My initial response is to make excuses as to why I can’t. But, if God’s put it on our hearts then obedience brings fruit, not failure.

ACTION PLAN: Choose one of the above mentioned ideas to spend your time serving the invisible in your community.

Friends, we are only powerless if we are loveless. May you and I love in action and deeds, flowing Jesus’s mercy and love at all times, through all generations, so we may see God’s work lighting up our communities. AMEN!

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

3-2-1-0 Kids’ Prayer Technique

My daughter Natalie (7) had big feelings before bed, but I was exhausted and didn’t want to take the time to deal with it. That’s how real life goes sometimes. But in that moment of burnout, God gave me an idea, “Let’s pray 3-2-1 sweet girl.”

It didn’t drag out bedtime, instead when we started this simple method of prayer it brought much needed calm so she could sleep.

**SO in January’s FROM ME TO YOU EMAIL you’ll find your free prayer guide outlining the solution God’s used to help me support my kiddos in faith at bedtime. It’s easy for kids to learn and Natalie now reminds me, “Mom, we need to do 3-2-1!” I’m so happy to share it with you and hope it brings you and your kids closer together. 

Perhaps commit to praying 3-2-1-0 with your kids (or even your spouse!) for a week to get into the groove. For me, it’s given me precious insight into what my kids are THINKING and WORRYING about, and helped motivate my prayer life as well so I know how to pray for them. 

Click here if you would like this free faith resource for your kids.

Your friend in Christ,
Andrea Chatelain

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If you read this far that means we’re two peas in a pod. Jot your email down to GET this month’s from ME to YOU freebie…and so I can connect with you more! We’re in this together!

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

Understanding God’s Throne in Time of Need

The attack on the capitol yesterday reminded me how far faithlessness will take us. How pride and power will twist and darken our hearts if we let it. And not just in the people we saw on tv, but in you and me. How if we don’t have faith that all things in heaven and earth are under God’s control, fearful human egos will grasp at their fleeting kingdom instead of standing secure in God’s. So let’s get some faith today. 

It’s important to note that the root of the sin that emboldens faithless action, like overthrowing and ransacking our capitol in hate, lives in all of us. Sadly, it doesn’t shock me, but it reminds me the importance of obedience and reflection for each believer. Whose THRONE do I want to succeed? Mine or Jesus’s? And who do I trust TO SIT on that throne? Me or God?

God’s throne is called the “throne of grace”. How different that is than the throne of power man seeks. 

Urging us on in prayer and faith, the writer of Hebrews penned, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)

Well I’d say it’s a time of need for our country so let’s dig into this concept.

That word grace (xaris) means reaching out freely in kindness to share a benefit. It literally means God’s throne leans toward you holding out all His goodness freely sharing His inheritance, mercy, and love. So we lack nothing.

God’s “throne of grace” leans toward you holding out all His goodness freely sharing His inheritance, mercy, and love.  We lack nothing.

-Andrea Chatelain

If we truly believe that the throne of all time is reaching towards us completely open with everything we need, our hands simply must open and lean back into God to receive. 

There’s no grasping for power in God’s kingdom. All is his. There’s no reason for pride, because all His sons and daughters receive what they need. And there’s no room for fear because our Heavenly Father’s in control and His throne is immovable, impenetrable, and eternal.

Lord, may we be confident, faithful, children of God who seek the “throne of grace” above all others vying for our adoration. May we humbly keep our hands out accepting all goodness from our generous Father and look to Him only in our country’s time of need. 

May we find unity as one body of believers under God’s reign of our hearts, speech, and action. And comfort in His power knowing He has already overcome all evils of this world. Amen.

Hi Friend!! Connect with me below!

If you read this far that means we’re two peas in a pod. Jot your email down to GET this month’s from ME to YOU freebie…and so I can connect with you more! We’re in this together!

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

If You Do Nothing Else This Christmas

If you’re like me, you feel the “I don’t know” in the air. Will we celebrate at grandma’s? Hopefully. Will we go to church in person or online? Depends on health. Should I get a tenderloin for the deep freeze just in case? Perhaps. Did Jesus come for me and will He come again? Yes. If you do nothing else this Christmas, reflect with me for a minute on what the manger holds for you.

There are some questions we can and should reflect on this Christmas season. And the one that’s ringing in my ears today is, why did God send His son Jesus to live among us?

So we’d know and believe that the Father loves us.

It’s simple. It’s true. And it encompasses so much at the same time. Through Jesus, we can see the unseen God’s character. We witness what’s important to our heavenly Father. We have proof that He’s not forgotten about us, but is pursuing and planning for our good.

How does it feel to have a personal God who’s not far off, but as near to mankind as a child in a womb? How does it repair what’s been damaged within you, the doubt or the fear, that He came for you specifically?

This week I’m settling in to a piece of Scripture that deserves to dwell in our hearts for good.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV).

God’s son lowered from heaven to an earthly manger is the grandest gesture of “great love” and “rich mercy” one could ever fathom. And He did it to raise us up to our right standing with God.

God’s son lowered from heaven to an earthly manger is the grandest gesture of “great love” and “rich mercy” one could ever fathom. And He did it to raise us up to our right standing with God.

Andrea Chatelain

He saw me and you in the dark and He chose to be our light. We were dead in sin, and He came to BE our life. He’s restored our honor, our goodness, our rightness as a gift so that we have a direct line of relationship heavenward.

Do not take Christmas lightly. While most things in this world may be lost or unsure. Everything that Christmas stands for will remain. And because of that I invite you to ponder the hope of the season as you reflect on passages that prove God’s love like Ephesians 2:4-6. You, dear reader, are greatly loved by God and have a treasure that cannot be taken.

So CELEBRATE! Rejoice! Bring out the peanut butter blossom cookies and hot cocoa. Decorate with lights galore. But more importantly, be blessed as you fill up on the Lord’s presence.

Hi Friend!! Connect with me below!

If you read this far that means we’re two peas in a pod. Jot your email down to GET this month’s from ME to YOU freebie…and so I can connect with you more! We’re in this together!

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

4 actions to renew thankfulness when you just don’t feel it

My house decor is a good gauge of how I’m feeling lately. The thanksgiving fake pumpkins from Hobby Lobby are being overthrown by red and gold curtains and throw blankets. Why am I fast-tracking through thanksgiving? Why do I already have lights on my house and a tree with 5 colored twinkle strands? Because I need Jesus, not a turkey. Are you feeling me??

I wonder if you’re like me and thankfulness seems more like an inner battle rather than a celebration this year. I wish I could sit with you and look you in the eyes as you tell me the things that didn’t go to plan this year. The people who are gone that should be passing the gravy. The dream job that turned into job loss. Or all the little losses along the way that’ve left you a bit jaded and unexpectant.

Friend. Sigh. Friend. Let me tell you something important. You do not need to feel thankful to be thankful. You can celebrate thanksgiving this year and really mean it. You and I can bust out the turkey platter with sincerity if we want to. Here’s how I’m doing it…

Be honest with yourself about what you’re NOT thankful for. I like exactly NOTHING about fake people. I don’t like to act fake. I don’t want to be fake with my feelings, and I don’t think God wants us to either. In scripture He commands us to come to him when we’re weary. (Matthew 11:28) To give Him our burdens and rest in Him. He wants us to be real with Him about our burdened hearts so He can relieve them.

Battle bitterness in prayer. Pray. Talk to God honestly about disappointments, set backs, losses, and failures of this crazy year. For me it means grieving my grandpa who died of Covid. And all the little things that just went wonky. We have to let go of bitterness before we can accept a posture of thankfulness.

We have to let go of bitterness before we can accept a posture of thankfulness.

Andrea Chatelain

MAKE A LIST of all the ways God has provided, cared for, loved, sheltered, given you joy, helped, comforted, etc in the past. So often in scripture, grumbling and bad attitudes are a reflection of how God’s people have forgotten their Father. They’ve shifted their focus from His love and mercy –past, present, and future– and are only seeing the bad of right now. Sound familiar? I need this heart check right now. Even as I type I’m flooded with ways He’s been faithful. I challenge you to make a list and remember your God is good.

Serve someone as an act of thanksgiving to the Lord. Thankfulness can be elusive. We think if we don’t feel it, it’s not within us. But we aren’t to feel thankful. No where in Scripture does God command us to feel thankful. He tells us to BE thankful. (Colossians 4:2, Hebrews 12:28)What does thankful look like when we commit to being thankful in our core? It looks more like a battle than a tablescape. It looks like doing rather than feeling. And the funny thing is, sometimes when we start doing things as an act of thankful worship or obedience, our feelings can follow.

We are a people of an immoveable God. Though the world may bring chaos. We will be thankful. Though our lives may have hardship. We will fight back with thankfulness. Because no matter what comes, our God is King, and He is good. And His love endures forever.

Come on! Now I’m ready for turkey. And I pray blessings of renewed thankfulness to all of you this season! Happy Thanksgiving friends!

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm for giving thanks.

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” psalm 100 ESV

Hi Friend!! Connect with me below!

If you read this far that means we’re two peas in a pod. Jot your email down so I can connect with you more! We’re in this together!

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

He Holds All Things and He’s already decided

I don’t know how you’re feeling about the election, but I know how Jesus feels. He’s completely calm and not freaking out. Know why? Because the outcome is already decided…by Him.

Now some of us may not want to hear that if our candidate loses. I’ve been in that spot before, thinking, “God you got this one wrong!” (Lord forgive me for thinking I know more than you about how the universe should be run. yikes) But when that happens, when our emotions are leading our minds, there are a few key truths from Scripture to help us.

The first thing I remember is Christ is the King, not in a cute Instragram post way, but in a REAL way. And what the King declares will be done. I may not like His choices, but reminding myself that He is King helps me remember I am not. And that He has a grander purpose for earthly leaders that I may not understand until heaven.

He has a grander purpose for earthly leaders that I may not understand until heaven.

Let your heart be open to this truth…

“For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17 ESV

The Lord created both President Trump and Mr. Joe Biden. The Lord has a plan for each of their lives. He goes before them and our nation and has a purpose for whoever He chooses to be our leader. Jesus is leading this process, not anyone else. And all things hold together in Christ, not our president.

So if I truly believe that Christ is King, that He has chosen my leader, my heart will be in a place of surrender not stress.

So what’s the problem?? Why are we all so freaked out on all fronts? I think because we are leaning on our own understanding, not the Lord’s.

We memorize this verse, but it’s so hard to put it into practice.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

You guys, this was my confirmation verse and I still get tripped up. How do I trust in the Lord with all my heart when chaos is swirling and I want to control things I can’t control?! I think that’s exactly why God wants our trust. He doesn’t want His people freaking out. Instead we get to experience crazy peace as God holds us tighter in those moments– if we turn our thoughts to trusting Him.

God invites you and me to think on a higher level. Not in the realm of what we think is right and wrong, but in the arena of trusting Him.

Andrea Chatelain

Notice that it says, “Do not lean on your own understanding”. That means we have our own understanding of this election and everything else in life. You can choose to think of it how you want. But God invites you and me to think of it on a higher level. Not in the realm of what we think is right and wrong, but in the arena of trusting Him.

Here’s my prayer for you and me and the whole church today…

Lord Jesus, YOU are King of all. You created us and our leaders. You know who you’ve chosen to be our president. Help us surrender the outcome to you. And as we do, help us to let go of what we thought you should’ve done and trust you completely that you have your reasons and we can trust you. You are good. And you hold all things together. Hold the church together as we turn our thoughts away from bickering and toward Your Kingdom. Help us agree on you if we cannot agree on anything else. That You love us and therefore it is your COMMAND that we love our brothers and sisters so we can be a beacon of light to the world. Your will be done. Amen.

If you read this far that means we’re two peas in a pod. Jot your email down so I can connect with you more! We’re in this together!

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

To the Christian Skeptic During Election… Jesus is different.

What you’re seeing online is not Jesus. It’s not even people following Jesus. It’s fearful, prideful people serving their egos, not Christ. And I’m really sorry you have to endure this every four years. I’m sorry for people in the Church who are really good people who honor others with their words and actions, but they’re being drowned out by loud haters right now. And I’m sorry for you if you don’t know Jesus and see His church people acting like fools online throwing words like they don’t matter. Jesus is so different than what you’re seeing.

So let me tell you about the Jesus I know.

When I read the Bible I notice important characteristics, like He saw people.

He saw people not politics, because people are what matter to Him. And He is all powerful, and all knowing, so nothing threw Him for a power trip. He knew His throne was secure, so He approached opposition with dignity and truth, not defensiveness. He also addressed things that really mattered, things that could restore people. He spoke for goodness, and was abundantly patient with people who didn’t get it but couldn’t stand people who oppressed others.

So look for the Christian who isn’t freaking out about this election. The one who can calmly talk about ideas, or stay silent, who knows their God has the ultimate vote. Who show that people are more important than being right. That’s what faith in Christ looks like–calm in chaos. Knowing that relationships are more important than politics.

Jesus taught us to give up our lives for one another like He did for us.

To look after the poor, the widow, visit those in prison, those who are sick. He stopped at wells to chat with the lowly, the different, the outcast. He stopped in crowds to call the rich and poor, the faithful and the skeptics. He knew each person had a story that led them to Him, that each story was important. He validated each person’s hurts sending them away healed, loved, and forgiven. He reaches out, He doesn’t push away.

Look for the Christian who is doing so. The republican or democrat Christian who validates every person as important to God and made by God. Who searches for the hurting and reaches out continuing God’s work in their everyday life. Who show their loving faith in action as well as words. I’m so proud of my brothers and sisters who live sacrificial lives like Jesus. Look for them. They are living examples of the Lord’s heart.

Jesus taught us that we speak and act knowing our place.

Even Jesus was obedient to His Father, only giving away what He’d received from the Father. People following Christ are humble. They aren’t the loud, pot stirrers because they know that they have sinned and need Jesus so they make room for others to need Jesus.

They know pure wisdom comes from God, not themselves, so they spend their time praying, not stirring. They know God can change hearts and minds, so they don’t worry about being the loudest. They give away what they’ve been given–love, compassion, kindness. Look for the quiet and patient. They are following Jesus.

Jesus taught us to repent–to turn from things that harm us and others and walk in grace.

Look for people who don’t blast others in public. And look for people who accept correction. Who can hear how their ways have hurt others and sit in that uncomfortable place of “I’m so sorry.” without defending. People following Jesus actively apologize and learn and grow. We desire that, to be made more like Jesus, we don’t fear it.

As for me…

Oh friends, I haven’t done a perfect job. I want to do better. I love my sisters in Christ, but I’ve struggled reading some posts that so clearly divide instead of unify. I want to chime in and let anger dictate my words instead of love. It would be so easy, but it would detract from the story of God’s grace. Let’s not.

All I can say is I believe God already has His hand on our future. I may or may not like the outcome, but I will trust that God has a plan. When we remind ourselves of that, our opinions take the low position they should, and we remember that people are what matter to Jesus, not politics.

How has this political season tested you? How have you chosen faith over fear? How is it hard to be silent trusting God instead of stirring the pot? How have you chosen to love and unify rather than divide and shame?

(This blog inspired by Proverbs 14 and 15)

If you read this far that means we’re two peas in a pod. Jot your email down so I can connect with you more! We’re in this together!

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

You will be Joyful Again

I have to remind us of this today because joy seems far off. I’ve read posts about choosing joy and thankfulness, scripture that says to count suffering as joy. If I think of joy as a feeling, those things are impossible. Because you know what? This pandemic doesn’t make me feel joyful. I’m not happy to be isolated, are you? I’m not happy that my loved one died from the virus, are you? We are grieving right now and grief doesn’t feel like joy. But here’s Jesus’s promise to his disciples and you and I…

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy,” (John 16:21 ESV).

The disciples couldn’t fathom that Jesus, their most important person, would die. And even more so, they had no concept of him coming back to life. Jesus was preparing their hearts that they would be crushed, but to keep hope because God will not let us stay crushed. Death will never be the end of the story when Jesus is involved.

Death will never be the end of the story when Jesus is involved.

Andrea Chatelain

I’m looking at you. What is it in your life that feels dead, that looks dead, that perhaps is dead. Your marriage? Your dreams? Your joy? Or even a loved one. Hold onto the promise of Jesus. The hope of Jesus. He can resurrect anything and anyone who is surrendered to Him. He can and will turn our grief to joy, real joy as he restores our hardest days. We may have to wait til heaven to experience it, but on that day grief will die and joy will live.

“So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you,” (John 16:22)

When you can’t face the day, keep saying Jesus’s words, his promise. You will have sorrow now. But you will see Jesus and your heart will rejoice. And no one will take away his joy from you. That is the hope that we have when we face pandemics, unexpected losses, and hurts. Ultimately joy is ours because Jesus is ours. And no one can take Him away from you. So grieve with confidence, my friend.

If you read this far that means we’re two peas in a pod. Jot your email down so I can connect with you more! We’re in this together!

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily BreadOr follow her on Facebook/Instagram.

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