Conquer Conference: Oct., 14th and 15th. Becoming The Best Possible You – Inside and Out. Join us for this amazing live event! CLICK HERE to get all the details and to register!
I will be doing a Facebook live stream on Thursday, June 23rd at 7:30 PM EST. CLICK HERE to join us live on Facebook. The topic will be Dealing With Toxic And Critical People.
Keep an eye out for our 4th of July Flash Sale. Everything in my bookstore will be 25% off. More details to come soon.
Listening To God
By Leslie Vernick
What would happen if you spent a day alone, and didn’t talk to anyone but God? We live in a world that continually bombards our senses. Televisions, radio’s, telephones and computers are our constant companions. Rarely do we take time out of our demanding lives for quiet and solitude.
Yet God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Many of us never allow ourselves to be quiet and still enough to hear the voice of God—to sit silently in his presence. We get focused on our problems but forget to enter God’s presence.
Isaiah reminds us that in solitude and silence we find strength (Isaiah 30:15). We may daily read our Bible and pray – talking to God, but do we take time to be quiet and listen to what God is saying back to us?
Practicing the discipline of silence and solitude is difficult at first. Some people find silence frightening. We aren’t use to being alone with our own thoughts, let alone the thoughts of God. Yet, carving out regular times in which to be quiet renews both our inner life and our outer life.
Silence and solitude gives us the space in our hectic time driven lives for prayer, self-reflection, personal worship, and meditation. It is in this space that we not only come to understand our own thoughts better, but to begin to grasp the mind of God.
For me, I find the best time for this is first thing in the morning. There is something built in to this time of the day which readies my heart to be more quiet and open to God (Psalm 5:3). Once the daily activity starts in, it is much harder to carve out that quiet and alone space.
I would also encourage you to try half day or full day retreats where you can be totally alone with God. Some Christian retreat centers allow people to come in for a day just for this purpose. A day alone on the beach or in the mountains can also be a place of solitude and silence where God can make himself more known to you.
If you’ve never practiced silence and solitude before, start small. Turn everything off or go to a quiet place in your house and just be still for five minutes. Focus on one particular verse or thought about God. Yes, your mind will wander, but when it does, just bring it back to the verse or thought you started with. You might find yourself having to do that many times in five minutes. That’s normal. Just bring your mind back to that one thought of God.
For example, you might say to yourself, “Be still and know that He is God”. Then quiet your body and mind to listen to God. I start quieting my mind by focusing on my breath, in and out, slow and steady. Practicing silence helps us learn to see the unseen reality around us and to to tune our spiritual eyes and ears to the Holy Spirit.
In this world there are so many voices clamoring for our attention, we must be intentional so that we can hear to God’s still small voice.
Question: I am in an emotionally abusive marriage. We have three adult children and my husband has repeatedly undermined my self-worth to two of my children. Thus, they are a continuation of his verbal abuse using some of the same phrases that he uses. My oldest has tried to micromanage me verbally as if she is the mom and I the daughter. In addition, he enlists them in every aspect of our marital issues. I have pleaded with him through counseling to set boundaries so we can begin the healing of our destructive marriage. He is very hesitant on excluding them and wants to know the boundaries he’ll have to adhere to. Can you address these complicated issues?
Answer: From your question I’m assuming that your three adult children are still living in your home? Your husband has regularly enmeshed your children into your marriage so that there are no clear boundaries between the marriage and the children (even though your children are now adults). You are not only being controlled and verbally abused by your husband but also two of your children. It must be awful to live that way.
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If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide your name and email address.
Winners of Living A Praying Life by Jennifer Kennedy Dean are Karen P. and Natalie S.
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING
“I have been in an emotionally destructive marriage for 21 years. What I was experiencing made me feel like I was going crazy. I was desperate and at the end of my rope (in many ways), I kept praying and God led me to Leslie's information online. I finally had a name for what I was experiencing. Emotional abuse. Although I had never heard of it before, the description of this from Leslie gave me hope that I could now address this head on with a purpose.
Unlike many on the blogs, I was not a silent victim. I tried everything I could to help my spouse see what she was doing and to recognized the devastating affects on our relationship and her relationship with our daughter, all to no avail. I decided to hire Leslie as a coach. Having concluded the program, I cant express enough gratitude for how strong, firm, gracious and insightful Leslie was in helping me understand the tools needed to address my spouse head on with calmness and strength.
She also, helped me face my own struggles and gave me tools to make corrections where needed and become a better me. My ability to recognize destructive behaviors and manipulation has equipped me to face any relationship now or in the future with appropriate boundaries.”
– Michael C.
LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.
Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.
Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.