Selective Hearing

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I’m good.  Thanks, but no thanks.”  Have you ever heard those words said to you?  Or maybe those were words that came out of your mouth?  Some of us may view the different opportunities to hear God’s word as a smorgasbord, picking and choosing what suits our tastes, our preferences.  We politely decline areas in which we feel we have good handles on…secretly we say to ourselves, “I know this already.  I’ll pass and leave it for those ladies who need it more.”      

Careful, beloved.  That’s called selective hearing and it’s very dangerous. It presumes that there is an area of God’s word that you don’t need to hear.  That you have it perfected.  This is the deceptive sin of self-righteousness.  But God instructs us otherwise,

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”  2 Tim. 3:16    

Key word above is “all” scripture (not some and not the ones we feel as though we have mastered), but that all scripture is beneficial for us in the training of righteousness…with the outworking goal of being adequate and equipped for every good work.  (v17)      

As a woman of God, we are called to be students of His word, examining our hearts and motives in light of God’s word.  Through every piece of Scripture we see Christ more clearly; we grow in wisdom and understanding so that we may be equipped to discuss and teach the word to other women, friends, and children in our sphere of influence.  Titus 2-3:5   We are prepared for every good work.  

So if you’re thinking that you have some things down pat, no need to go there… I would encourage you to re-examine your heart’s motive and pray.  Ask the Lord to show you His will and to grant you a heart that gladly surrenders to it.  Nurture a teachable heart with a listening ear always eager for God’s word. 

Stay faithful beloved.  Continually cherish all of His word. 


Louise Moulton is a pastor's wife, mom, and nana to Haven, Kaiden & Luke. Her passion is to encourage and equip women to live for God's glory

Don't Grow Weary

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My feet climbed the stairs as they always have to my youngest daughter’s room. And like almost every night, I pulled her vanity chair next to her bed. This was our time at the end of a full day to talk, read a little and pray. I’d like to say that I have done this perfectly over the years, but I haven’t. There have been night’s where my own tiredness or the day’s challenges got the best of me.

But on this particular night, my daughter did something different and unexpected.

God has a way of sending encouragement in seasons where we are tired, and we wonder if the things we are doing are really making a difference. Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re there right now? The hard work of plowing and planting. And this can be said of not just motherhood, but marriage, singleness, work or any part of life.

Yet as Christians, we serve a God, who in His tender mercy, allows us to see glimpses of His grace working in our lives, at just the right time, so that our hearts may be strengthened to continue in faithfulness.

In Galatians 6:9, it says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

The above verse reminds me that we are all prone to weariness and that our fleshly nature is bent towards giving up when we see no harvest.

We are tempted to give up in doing any good…

when we see no change in a conflict.

when we see no change in our finances.

when we see no change in our marriage.

when we see no change in a wayward son or daughter.

when we see no change in a work situation.

But the Lord in His infinite wisdom trains us how not to give up by allowing us plenty (and I will say it again, plenty) of opportunities to live by the Spirit, not the flesh.  We learn to walk by faith and not by sight.  We learn to rely on His word as a compass and a guide, not on the “obvious and seen” circumstances around us.

Paul encouraged his Galatian brothers to live by the Spirit and to continue doing good because there is indeed a promised return if they do not give up.

And that harvest will come in due season, God’s appointed time. It is the promise that all that we do for God and His glory is never done in vain.  It’s a promise that is tied to perseverance; to keep on keeping on…

So how do we keep on when we feel tired and weak?

Pray first. Go to God. A simple heartfelt prayer, “Lord, help me I’m tired.” God is the only One who can give you the strength and perseverance to continue. All that we need is found in Him.

Isaiah 40:29
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Flesh or Spirit? Sometimes just stepping back and asking yourself, “Is what you desire gratifying to your flesh or the Spirit?” Answering this can bring focus, clarity and even help to put wind in your sails again.

Galatians 5:16
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Acknowledge. Any God-given task is hard. As you set out to do good in service to God and others- family, marriage, work, etc- it will be met with spiritual opposition. Remember, you’re on a battlefield, not a playground. Don’t expect it to be easy and for Satan to just lay down as you move forward to advance the gospel.  Put on your armor beloved.

Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Stay in your word. Saturate your mind with truth. Meditate on scripture. Memorize scripture. Wake up to scripture. Go to bed to scripture. Allow God’s timeless truth to steady your thoughts and to anchor your feet.

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

So back to my daughter…

As I prayed over her and finished up, I lifted my head, ready to give her a kiss and walk towards the door when she stopped me and asked, “Mom, how can I pray for you?”  

Unprompted. Unexpected.

No longer did I see my youngest daughter sitting beside me but a fellow sister in Christ. A sister who cared enough to ask how she might pray for me that night. I stumbled over my response but was glad to share it with her.  

God in that moment showed me a glimpse of His grace at work in my daughter’s life, as well as my own life as a mother.  

As I closed the door to her bedroom that night, I was reminded to stay faithful in discipling her young heart. That what I am doing as a mom, though oftentimes is met with no tangible evidence, is making a difference.

Where is God calling you to persevere?

Stay faithful beloved.


Louise Moulton is a pastor's wife, mom, and nana to Haven, Kaiden & Luke. Her passion is to encourage and equip women to live for God's glory

The Path of Comfort and Ease

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I wiped my tears, took several deep breaths and got out of the car.  This would be one of several moments where the Lord was leading me somewhere I did not want to go.  What I really wanted was to isolate, curl up in a ball and pull the covers over my head.  But here I was pushing past the raw emotions of hurt and pain to place myself where I knew the Lord desired me to be:  seeking Him alongside a community of other believers.

When hard times hit, we naturally want to pull away from others but God’s prescription for our soul says, “press in.” (Acts 2:42, Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 3:13)

Following God is hard.  In fact, it’s impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit.  And I was learning the reality of this truth as I navigated the roads of deep family pain.

As I look back I am amazed at the things the Lord has brought me through and the ways in which He provided strength and encouragement.  Those gifts of grace definitely didn’t come in packages I imagined.  In fact, many of the times I wanted to send back His gifts of grace because they were not what I wanted nor expected.  Give me comfort and ease…

Oh yes, the Lord was loosening my grip on an idol of comfort and ease.  I got to see firsthand how tempting it was to ignore God’s word.  My heart insisted it knew best.  I was certain that the answer to any of life’s problems was found on the path of least resistance.

In Hebrews 12:1-2, it says, “Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Source and Perfecter of our faith.”

As believers, we can learn from this verse that we are, metaphorically,  running a race that requires endurance.  Endurance is the ability to withstand hardship or difficulty, to keep on keeping on.  It is a life that has a pattern of consistency in seeking and loving God most.

Faithful enduring love for Him is demonstrated in our obedience to His word. John 14:15

One of the ways in which we mature in the area of endurance is to go through seasons of suffering. How’s that for an invitation for growth?  Come and run the path marked suffering!

But running on a path of suffering reveals a lot about our faith. It exposes what we really believe about God, ourselves and the church.  Are we willing to trust and obey His word even if it means we sacrifice our own comfort, wants and desires?

How are you running beloved?  Are you tired, overwhelmed or discouraged? Are you pressing in?  Or pulling away?  Wherever this finds you, be encouraged by God’s word and know that it is Jesus Himself who perfects your faith.  He is faithful to finish the work He started in you.

As you pursue growth, here are some things I learned along my own path of suffering, things I learned to avoid:

The path of comfort and ease.  This leads nowhere.  It offers temporary relief but leaves you with a heartache of spiritual growth that’s been stunted and a vision that does not see God high and lifted up as He truly is.  Romans 5:3

The path of blinding circumstances.  Your eyes are fixed on your difficulties but not on Jesus. Clues you are on this path…your thoughts are consumed with worry, fear and doubt.  Choose instead to meditate on the truths of the gospel.   Hebrews 12:2

The path of emotionally-led decisions.   You allow your emotions to decide whether you should or shouldn’t do something.  Rather, each of our decisions as believers, is to be informed by God’s word. Psalm 119:105

The path of me, myself and I.  You see yourself only as an individual and not as an important part of the local church.  This is usually a HUGE indicator of where your heart truly lies.  Christ died for His bride, the church, (pause and really take that in) and if our love for the local church isn’t growing in service and community with others than we simply are not growing at all.  Ephesians 5:15-21

If you are experiencing a painful season of discouragement, my prayers are with you beloved.  I know personally how hard it is to see anything straight when the world around you seems confusing and chaotic.

But let me again encourage you to fix your eyes on Jesus.   When our gaze stays on Him, we see things as they truly are.  He is in control, reigning and ruling, working all things together for your good and His glory.


Louise Moulton is a pastor's wife, mom, and nana to Haven, Kaiden & Luke. Her passion is to encourage and equip women to live for God's glory

Grace in Parenting


I was asked to write this article almost a year ago after attending a parenting conference with Tedd and Margie Tripp. With all the new knowledge I had in my notebook, I was so excited to share it but I felt it wasn’t what God was leading me to do and I wasn’t sure why. Last week after looking through my notes as I shared them with a friend, I saw all the progress we have made by implementing this knowledge, and now I know why God held me back. He wanted me to share a testimony instead of just my notes.

At our 2nd child’s dedication (also pregnant with #3) we were gifted the book Shepherding A Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp. After sticking in on the shelf and riding out a really rough couple of years, I was reminded by a friend that I needed to read this book. I started to read the book and practice some things with our oldest child but stopped there. Prior to this, we weren’t too strategic about how we parented. We disciplined as needed for bad behavior and occasionally lost our tempers, scaring our children into obeying. This led to a lot of regret, discouragement and unfortunately- no real change in our children’s behavior. We then began to shift our conversations with our oldest by helping him understand the sin behind his behavior and walking him through what he should have done versus disciplining him for what he had done. Every moment of discipline became an opportunity to share the gospel with him. He began to really understand the gospel and his own need for salvation and decided to ask Jesus to live in his heart.

In the midst of this amazing joy we experienced with our oldest, the parenting book remained on the shelf, and our middle child was drowning in his own temper and stubbornness. In attempting to help him I would find myself just as angry and stubborn as him, and our relationship was suffering. I needed to help myself in order to help him and wasn’t sure practically how to do it. While crying on our front porch over losing my temper with him yet again, I begged God to help. In His perfect timing, as always, God opened a door to go to a parenting conference by Tedd and Margie Tripp. We have always joked about wishing that the hospital had given us a manual when they sent us home with a new baby but never realized that we had one right under our noses. As a mom and dad, living in obedience to God, we paint an imperfect picture of who God is to our children. We ARE given instruction on how to parent and it is laid out for us in the Bible, by clear commands and warnings and also by studying how God treats His own children (since we are to model that to them).

We began to implement what I learned that weekend and were in complete shock over the almost immediate results. Here are the changes that were made and what results we saw:

Change 1: Discuss God’s goodness as much as possible

Reason: We are made to worship someone or something as humans. If we want our children to worship and obey God, we need to show them how great our God is. Read Psalm 145 slowly. There is no denying the WONDER of our great, glorious, mighty and loving God! But if we lose our sense of delight in God and our kids don’t see us rejoicing in who He is, neither will they.

Result: Wonder/awe of God and His creation all around us fill their minds and conversations. A simple sunset is no longer just a beautiful thing to look at but a piece of God’s artwork for our enjoyment, and a reminder of the beautiful heaven we have hope to live in soon.

Change 2: No longer discipline bad behavior (unless disobedient, see change 3) but lead to understand what sinfulness from within led to that behavior. Role play to practice correct behavior

Reason: Understanding what led to bad behavior from within is what eventually leads to change for the right reasons. From Shepherding a Child’s Heart “to the extent they are successful (with disciplining bad behavior), they become like the Pharisees, people whose exterior is clean, while inside they are full of dirt and filth”. Mark 7:20-22 “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, pride, and foolishness.” We correct our children because we are called to teach them and train them up in the ways of the Lord. Our goal is to correct and lead to our need for Christ, not to punish for bad behavior.

Result: They now know how they feel inside and why they act the way they do. They sometimes catch themselves and do what we practice in role play, but please note: these behaviors are not a quick fix! We are simply laying a foundation for them for when they choose to put their faith in God and live in obedience to Him. Ezekiel 36:27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Change 3: Spank for all forms of disobedience, including partial disobedience. Do not engage in debates or disagreements

Reason: Children are commanded to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1). Parents are told to discipline their children (Proverbs 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13 just to name a few). We, as Christians, are to walk in obedience to God. We are not called to question God’s authority and we are not to partially obey. Living in obedience is understanding biblical authority. We know what is best for our children and for their own benefit, they are to obey us. Being the sinful creatures they are, there will be defiance in this area as they desire to make choices on their own. When this defiance occurs, they are to receive discipline in the form of a spanking (the rod mentioned in verses above). Until they have the maturity, wisdom and life experience to make good choices, we are to make those choices for them. Choosing your battles is not wise advice, children are to obey their parents, period. Side note: God is perfect, therefore His discipline is perfect. He does not discipline His children out of anger or any ungodly attributes that we may find within our hearts as we discipline. There is a process Tedd Tripp lays out in his book in chapter 15 for spanking that is key in order to hold ourselves accountable. It is not considered abusive when done correctly and you will be surprised at your child’s response when the steps are followed!

Result: Obedience! Surprise! Initially, our oldest got more spankings than he used to. He was a fairly well-behaved child, but he does not like to obey. This created a lot of behavioral problems in the beginning but we now see him walking in obedience much more often. Our middle child was constantly misbehaving and getting spankings in the past and now, he rarely gets them. We were forced to give clear instructions for him to obey and he does, for the most part! Our youngest is 3… enough said? We have a little ways to go with her, but she is learning! The best result is what I see in myself. I have more self-control than ever before because I know what God expects of me and what my children need from me. I still mess up and respond in anger and have to apologize to my kids and seek God’s forgiveness and help on a regular basis.

My eyes well up with tears as I think back over the last year at how far we have come. Our middle son needed me (who he most resembles in personality) to SHOW him how to respond and control his anger by living out what I was trying to teach. He is very black and white and needed clear instructions from us as parents. We were more wishy-washy than we would like to admit and did not remain consistent in what we disciplined for and how. He didn’t know what to expect and couldn’t handle that. Those correction conversations (change #2) have been a game changer for our family. If he was wronged, his ungodly attitude within led him to act out. We then disciplined him for this behavior and he would lose his temper, often for hours at a time involving a lot of violence and holes in walls (yes, that intense), leaving us feeling defeated and frustrated. Now, we discuss what he felt within (ungodly attitude) and validate his feelings before guiding him through how to make a better choice in his response. He stays calm and his entire demeanor changes when he feels understood. We have not had a single blow up as we used to and our love for one another has grown immensely (and now I am crying!).

Every time I see the hole in the drywall behind my boys’ door, I am reminded of God’s grace for us and pray everyone can find wisdom in this area as well. I cannot recommend enough reading any parenting book by this couple. If ever given the opportunity to sit under the teaching of the Tripps, make it happen! They do not just tell you how to do things based on what they have studied and seen, like many parenting book authors do, but they seek wisdom in this area from God Himself and lay it out simply for us to understand. I pray that my sharing this leads you to seek wisdom in this area for yourself and for your family! Know if you read this you were prayed for!

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Tami Johnson is a faithful servant of Christ with a passion for serving with kids as the Children’s Ministry Director at Lakeshore. She has been married to her husband, Dane, for 10 years and is fulfilling her dream of being both a mom and teacher by homeschooling her 3 young children. She is loving what God has called her to do in all areas of life!  

Loving God When Your Hands Are Full

Oh, I hear it all the time. The frustration. The worry. The fear.

How do I get anything done with kids? How do I find my new normal? How do I maintain a deep relationship with the Lord while raising children?

They’re good questions to ask because I think at one point, all of us mommas have asked ourselves this.

I’ve learned to shift my expectations. The picture of a woman sitting cozy in a comfy chair, snuggled in a warm blanket, sipping on her favorite hot tea, while reading her bible was no longer me. Those days had passed. But I’ve realized that my time with the Lord doesn’t have to look perfect to be beautiful.

“You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” Psalm 27:8

I can seek Him when my hands are full. I can love Him well in the midst of messes and tantrums and life’s chaos. He’s after my heart. And that’s what I give Him as I read God’s word while I sit on the living room floor next to my 7 month old covered in spit up and wearing yesterday’s clothes. Jesus is with me as I seek Him from the bathroom floor while my toddlers are taking a bath. He meets me when I’m praying to Him while preparing a meal, or tidying our home. He’s beside me as I cry out to Him as my kids misbehave, and I’m struggling to have the patience and self-control that God calls me to. And somehow, though it’s not a picture perfect image, I’m content. I’m strengthened. I’m at peace.

So to the mom who is looking for her new normal, embrace God in the chaos. Don’t compromise when your hands are full. God will honor your dependence as you make your relationship with Him a non-negotiable in your life. He gave His very life for us. He’s worthy of our praise in every season, every triumph, and every battle. Love Him well in the mess. Love Him with all your heart.

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10

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Taylor Krabill is happily married to her high school sweetheart Tanner, and is living her dream as a stay at home momma to her three children: Haven, Kaid, and Luke. In her writings you will find her  heart for Jesus, her family, and her home sweet home.