Maybe This Is Why God Has Been Silent ...

What are you hoarding that belongs to God?

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I've been wrestling with God lately. 

If you've followed our past few blogs, you likely will pick up my tone. I know no other way to live than to walk in transparency as God shines light on my issues. Yesterday morning I woke up and followed my normal routine. Everything was in rhythm until I couldn't peel my eyes off my daily reading. I found myself lost in words of Malachi and ended up reading the whole book. It's as if every word was God's response to my journal entries this month.  

"You cover the Lord's altar with tears, weeping and groaning because He pays no attention to your offerings and doesn't accept them with pleasure." (2:13)

"You cry out, 'Why doesn't the Lord accept my worship?'" (2:14)


Malachi continues in that chapter to discuss the vows that were broken within a marriage. While that is not applicable in my life because my marriage is intact (and stronger than ever), I took to heart how broken hearted God was to see a vow broken. I began to wonder if I had made any vows to God and treated them cheaply. 

Since God doesn't change ("I am the Lord, I do not change" Malachi 3:6), I knew that if broken commitments made God weary 2500 years ago, then broken commitments broke His heart still today. 

The remainder of the book talks about tithes and offerings. God speaks through Malachi to the people of Jerusalem and says they have "cheated Him" and fallen under a curse. It's clear that God takes seriously the promises we make to Him. Malachi 3 walks us through a call to repentance. Ask yourself whether you are following through (whether it's in your marriage, finances, sharing the gospel with that person, forgiving those who hurt you, etc) with a commitment you made to God. He never changes and never forgets. He is a loving Father who forgives, but if we simply brush that vow under the rug, there will be distance between you and Him... and I couldn't think of a worst feeling in the world.

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I'll end this by sharing the New Living Translation (NLT) version of Malachi 3:6-12 because of how greatly it impacted my heart this week: 

 

“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’

8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!

“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’

“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.


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We'd love to hear from you! You can find all previous emails on this blog. We love getting comments on our blog to chat through these Love Fast Live Slow topics.


Until next time,
Nick and Laura Mendenhall

When you are on a losing streak...

When you feel like you just can't win... 

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It's not lost on me that losing sucks.

I tend to be an eternal optimist (to my husband's despise) and don't get too worked up if my team loses. If you are a football fan like us, you know the next several months will the chased with buffalo chicken dip, loud game days and surprise champions. Often times life feels that way (sans the chicken dip, but we do need more of that!). You can train all pre-season and practice your game face, but when you are on the field, victory is often unpredictable. 

From personal experience, we know how deflating it can be to be hit from all angles. You're tired from a hard week then your washer breaks. You are feeling stressed at work and pressure at home. You are tight on bills and anxiety is causing health problems. You want to WIN at something. You want GOOD NEWS for a change. It sucks getting kicked when you are down. Am I right?
 

No one said life would be easy.

We don't know the exact recipe to fix all your problems but we do know who can provide the security and stability you desire.


“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” Psalm 18:32-34

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God is the answer. 

When you are begging for a break and relief, remember this: Take one day at a time. Love fast and live slow. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I always come back to those four words. I don't what what tomorrow holds. I don't know all the answers. But I do know God will be pleased if I love fast and live slow today. That is a choice we can make today. Reset your mind and walk in that truth. 

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If you feel stressed lately, keep your eyes peeled because next week we are launching something that can help!


Until next time,
Nick and Laura Mendenhall

Are you on track to finish strong?

Are you on track to be a Paul or Demas?

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There are two kinds of people in this world, the Pauls and the Demas'. 

You may be more familiar with Paul, the apostle who wrote most of the New Testament. However, we learn a great deal about Demas in 2 Timothy 4. 

This book was among Paul's final writings. He was in prison, chained up and anticipating imminent execution. Yet he penned these words: 

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6–8)

Paul was going to finish strong. 

Then in verse 10, he tells us about Demas, who had mentored. Demas walked alongside Paul preaching the gospel and was even imprisoned for sharing that Truth. And yet, Demas grew weary and chose to fall back to his comforts instead of relying on God for courage and endurance.

“Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica” (2 Timothy 4:10) 

Demas gave up at the last minute. 

Thessalonica was home to Demas. Many scholars believe he chose safety and comfort, rather than risking another imprisonment. This may seem reasonable, I mean, who wants to knowingly be beaten and thrown into prison. Am I right? However, when God has called you to something, he doesn't promise an easy road. Paul chose to obey God even if it was risky. Demas chose to obey his fears. 

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Personally, I am battling with God over the path He has me on. This comparison between Paul and Demas spoke volumes to me. I am weary. We all grow tired. We all want prayers answered yesterday. But God wants us to keep fighting the good fight and finish strong!

LFLS family, my prayer for you this week is that you endure. Choose the right thing, be a Paul.

Until next time,
Nick and Laura Mendenhall

My Son is a Holiday Hoarder

My son taught me how to hope for the future.

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 I think most of us can agree that the holidays are special.

Holidays bring anticipated celebration. You go to bed with butterflies in your stomach because by the time you wake up, the world would be transformed. Many rules and boundaries would be lifted for those 24 hours.

You may be able to hunt eggs and eat candy left in the yard, launch fireworks after bedtime, eat birthday cake with your hands or open presents left under a glowing tree. These rituals are not difficult to duplicate and could easily happen any other day of the year, but it would not feel right. You can’t celebrate Halloween on June 27th. The neighbors wouldn’t be prepared. You can’t showcase Christmas decor and lights on your lawn in April. Although, the year after our daughter was born, I am pretty sure we didn’t take down our Christmas decorations until the end of February. We are proof that you certainly CAN rewrite the social cues for holidays like we did, but it would take out the novelty. 


Our sweet middle son, Everett, is a holiday hoarder. He is four years old and he interrogates me each morning with the same series of questions. He asks me if it’s Christmas. Every single day. “No sweetie, it’s not Christmas yet.” Then he asks me, “Is it Easter?” I hate to be the bearer of bad news. “No, Everett. It’s not Easter today either.” He persists. “Is it Halloween tonight?” He goes on and on. We go through this dialogue for a while. Finally, one morning this week he asked, “Is it Mother’s Day?” And I made an executive decision to not let my little boy down again… “Yes. As a matter of fact, yes Everett. It can be Mother’s Day! Every day is Mother’s Day!” A girl can dream. 


By definition, hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. 

  1. The world's "hope": The world has a different interpretation of hope than God has for believers. It’s common to hope something goes your way. Let’s replace the word hope for wish. It’s common to wish something would go your way. You cross your fingers and want the outcome to be in your favor. There is uncertainty in the outcome and the hope being described here is circumstantial.

  2. Our "Hope": On the contrary, the hope that believers should hold onto is hope that God will fulfill His promises. There is no doubt or circumstance that could change the outcome. Our hope is placed in the solidity of the future. Without hope, we’d turn inward to resolve our problems. We’d become even more selfish and neglect to live out our love fast mission. We no longer have to carry concern about our destiny or live in anxiety as if we are solely responsible for our future. We put our hope in what the Bible tells us is to come.

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Do you trust in the HOPE God describes? That your future is not grim and He can be in control? 

Trusting that you can wake up each morning, put on your love fast and live slow mindset, then let God do His thing. You don’t have to play god. You don’t have to nail down a 10-year plan. How about taking off those shackles and live for today. Once you place your hope in Jesus, you are free. Free to love fast, live slow and enjoy the ride. 

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{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC}    Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC} Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.


We'd love to hear from you! We love getting comments on our blog to chat through these Love Fast Live Slow topics.



Until next time,
Nick and Laura Mendenhall

Avoid Back-To-School Parent Shaming

Do you judge other parents to make yourself feel better?

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This is a tough question. 

In the spirit of back-to-school transitions, it's important to catch yourself before you accidentally pick someone apart. God wants us to have a love fast and live slow attitude even with adjacent parents. Can I share a personal story? Of course! Thanks! 

I can count on my fingers, toes and likely Nick’s as well, how many times I’ve felt judged or shamed by adjacent parents. Parenting is a funny thing. Nick and I know the emotional patterns of each kid. We know what tricks they will play and what discipline works best with their unique personalities. We call our oldest son, “demo,” not because of the demolition he causes (although that applies 10x), but because he is our first attempt at this parenting thing. He is our demo. I dare to say I’ve learned more in the past seven years than I’ve learned in a lifetime. Raising a family has given us direction, purpose and gray hair. 
 

You think you are the best parent on the planet until you become one. 
 

I’ll never forget the day I realized my parenting style was unconventional. Our oldest was three years old. There is a 100% chance I had already made four million parenting mistakes by this time but we were getting into the swing of things. He is our free spirit child, or better yet, he is “that kid.” It’s delightful and exhausting. His much anticipated preschool musical was sure to be entertaining. Get a bunch of three-year olds on stage with maracas and let the iPhone videos begin. 
 

Every stereotypical behavior you’d assume from a hyperactive toddler boy occurred during these seven minutes on stage. Except ripping his clothes off and streaking. That has happened in many public places but not on this particular day. Rounding the end of their second song, he spots me in the audience recording him. We exchange waves. You know the feeling when you hope everyone notices his adorableness and you sheepishly giggle while visualizing him receiving a Gold Medal for charm.
 

Not five seconds later, he proceeds to interrupt my day dream by shouting, “Mommy, put the phone down!” and motion me to cut it out as if I were embarrassing him. I laughed it off and put my phone away to not distract his Tony winning performance. In my ignorance, I did not realize the gasps of surprise coming from the moms around me. After the kids bowed, our wild child had to be assisted off the stage because he wouldn’t leave the microphones alone. A mom came up to me, 
 

“You sure have your hands full.”

“Yes, he certainly keeps us on our toes.”

“I can’t believe you let him talk to you that way.”

“What do you mean?”

“You can’t let him tell you what to do. Nip that now before it gets worse.”



In complete shock, I didn’t know whether I wanted to crumble or slap her. From a place of pride, I wanted no mom giving me unsolicited parenting advice. I was dumbfounded she felt compelled to walk across the auditorium to tell me anything other than, “our kids are adorable, aren’t they?”

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How to handle parent shaming?


Instead of letting the parent shaming simmer, I took a deep breath and admitted I have done the same thing. I am quick to criticize and justify my judgements because I need validation. Keep In Mind: Looking over the fence and judging a neighbor’s parenting style places you in opposition to God. Our critical spirit steals joy and peace, making it impossible to trust in God’s power. 


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We'd love to hear from you! We love getting comments on our blog to chat through these Love Fast Live Slow topics. Just comment below and you will hear from us!



Until next time,
Nick and Laura Mendenhall



Live Slow Bible Study: Day 15 of 100 Days To Brave

Day 15 of 100 Days To Brave

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Believe Who God Says He Is 

I feel a resounding theme in my life: "Laura, trust me!" - God  

The picture above is what life feels like for a lot of us. We are out in the world, being all vulnerable and hard-working, just trying to do the right thing but getting hit from every angle. Lucky for my son, he loves this kind of resistance. Unlucky for many of us, we think any obstruction to our plan means God's not in it. 

Sister, let me tell you: God is in it. He's always in it. 

This week as you dive into the next section of 100 Days To Brave (Brave Enough To Believe God), I hope you encounter resistance. Not because I don't want you to success or experience peace, but because this gives you the chance to grow. When we surrender and believe who God says He is, that means we are laying down our pride, our fears, our control. He is in charge. He has a plan. He can win the day. 

Today is the last day of summer for my boys (they start back in school routine tomorrow). I look forward to this next section of our study and this next transition into the school year. What things are you looking forward to? Are you letting God move in your life... or are you the one being resistant?

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The comments you've shared on the blog have been the highlight of my week. Please keep it up! I have learned so much about you and it connects us all. You are so special to me girl - and as you will learn this week, you are incredibly unique. I am thankful you are choosing to spend time with me in our #LiveSlowBibleStudy. 

CLICK HERE FOR LINK IF VIDEO DOESN'T PLAY: VIDEO

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I hope you are walking into day 15 with more courage than day 1. If you are reading ahead, you go girl! If you are a bit behind, no worries. Pick the book back up and start. Each sections' blog will be posted and waiting for you when you are ready.

See you guys in the comments soon !

xoxo

Laura Mendenhall




God Can Handle The Details, You Simply Trust Him!

How to surrender worry and trust God with the details 

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Change is inevitable.

Wouldn't it be nice to sit pretty in our little comfort zone, dig our feet into a daily rhythm and know the sequence of the day like clockwork? If you are in that zone, it may be short lived because change is inevitable. You are either coming out of or going into some sort of transition. And, if you are like me, you want to know all the details... yesterday! 

When God is stirring up change in your life, it can stir up excitement and worry at the same time. Since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8), we know He's got the whole world in His hands. Your whole world too. 

I love this verse in Isaiah after the Israelites had been praying for change. 


"Behold, I am doing a new thing! See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." (Isaiah 43:19) 


"Behold, I am doing a new thing!" If you are like the Israelites, you have been praying for God to turn the page in this life chapter. And this verse is reassurance that God is on the brink of doing something new. Everything happens in God's perfect timing. 

"See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?" Often times, God is working behind the scenes getting His plan together. Let's be brave enough to trust that He knows what's best for you. You don't have to know all the details or have control over every decision for the transition to turn out smooth.  

"I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Even though this change was something the Israelites were praying for, fear and anxiety could quite easily trap them from taking the first step towards freedom (they were in captivity at the time). God reassured them that He'd give a clear path to walk in the wilderness (the Israelites feared wandering in the wilderness since their ancestors did for decades after their captivity in Egypt). And He'd provide rivers for water and needs in the desert. They would not go hungry or thirsty. God was taking care of the details. They just needed to trust Him.

Often times, God leads us to places that (to the human eye) doesn't make sense. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles. It may not be as comfortable. And instead of surrendering our worry, we try to analyze all the details and over plan until we loose the chance to experience faith in action. 

If God is telling you, "Behold, I am doing something new!" then trust Him. 

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With every season of transition, it's easy to be overtaken by busy schedules and to-do lists. I have found that when everything is changing, I find refuge in having a few constants between it all: Bible Study & Exercise. That is why I host a FREE Fitness + Faith Bootcamp (ladies only, sorry). You may think you don't have time because "life is too crazy" but that's the EXACT reason we need this type of support, motivation and accountability. Check it out here.


Until next time,

Nick and Laura Mendenhall





Live Slow Bible Study: Day 6 of 100 Days To Brave

Day 6 of 100 Days To Brave


 

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"You aren't a mistake." 

Welcome back for DAY SIX of our 100 Days To Brave! Hopefully during the last 5ish days you've spent time reading the first section (Brave Enough To Start). And today starts the second section: Brave Enough To Be Me.

I'm getting a bit nervous about how God is teaching me VERY HANDS-ON to walk through my fears. Last week, Leland went to the ER for stitches. This week (so far): Leland shattered the window to the back porch, Everett had a nocturnal asthma attack (almost had to call 911) and last night, I pushed myself out of my social comfort zone -- more about that in today's video. 

I guess when you pray for bravery, God will line up some field training. 

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The comments you've shared on the blog have been the highlight of my week. Please keep it up! I have learned so much about you and it connects us all. You are so special to me girl - and as you will learn this week, you are incredibly unique. I am thankful you are choosing to spend time with me in our #LiveSlowBibleStudy. 

CLICK HERE FOR LINK IF VIDEO DOESN'T PLAY: VIDEO

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As you heard in my video, I need to challenge myself this week (and um, forever) to be brave enough to be who I am as a mom and wife. That sounds so simple, yet when I am in the trenches, I fear judgement or total social dork-ness. Seems too silly to be legit, but it is. And I know the enemy enjoys teasing me with that anxiety. I will choose brave!

Are you brave enough to be you? What lies are you telling yourself?

I hope you free yourself from that bondage this week. God makes no mistakes.

Be brave this week, ladies. Mostly (selfishly) because watching you be brave helps me be brave (and we are in this together)!

See you guys in the comments!

xoxo

Laura Mendenhall




Are you playing it safe? Don't.

Has God called you to step it up?

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God wants you to report to duty with boldness. 

God has you where you are for a reason. If your season of life feels like ground hog day, remember, God still destined it (even if just for a short season). How would you feel if someone called what you did small and insignificant? What if you had been heroic, brave, persistent and full of integrity ... and others still looked down on you? Ouch. 

That's what happened to David. 

Even as a little boy, David (who later became King) demonstrated courage like I've never seen. As a shepherd, most of his valiance went unseen. It's recorded in 1 Samuel 17 that he grabbed a lion and a bear by the jaw and clubbed them to death. He risked his life to protect his father's sheep and goats. Now that is someone who takes their job seriously! Wow! 

You'd think that would have earned him a bit of respect? Wrong. He was belittled and underestimated. His brothers and even the King mocked him.


"What are you doing around here anyway?"
"What about those few sheep you're supposed to be taking care of?"
"There's no way you can fight this Philistine, you're only a boy!"


What do you think David was feeling?

If you've ever been overworked, underpaid, overlooked or unappreciated -- then you likely know what he was feeling. So David gave up. He believed them. He confessed he was a nobody. I mean, that'd be pretty understandable, right? Do you blame the guy??

EXCEPT, David didn't give up at all. He knew God was on his side.

That young boy faced the giant, pulled back his sling shot and knocked Goliath out. He wasn't afraid of the giant in front of him because he know how God had provided for him in the past. When others didn't believe in him, he bragged on God. When others told him he'd never measure up, he bragged on God. When others tried to hold him back, he bragged on God.

He stepped up to the plate and took action with boldness. Having so much faith that he gave credit to God before the miracle ever happened.

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Need some more lifestyle tips and resources? Grab a few from our site: FREE GOODIES


Until next time,

Nick and Laura Mendenhall

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Live Slow Bible Study: Day 1 of 100 Days To Brave

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"Brave people don't stop hearing the whispers of fear" 

Welcome to DAY ONE of our 100 Days To Brave! You are here with us and I couldn't be more full of butterflies & unicorns. During this first blog, I will cover a summary of the first section: Brave Enough To Start. 

Let me first introduce myself: Hi, I am Laura. I am a total down-to-earth gal who loves her family and loves Jesus. I am nothing special. That isn't some superficial humble brag, that is a genuine, "Trust me girl, when you meet me in person you will realize I am a dorky homebody who likes to laugh until she cries." I hope we can become closer friends through this journey. 

I am a wife of almost 12 years (wow!) and our marriage hasn't been perfect. I am a mom of three kiddos (aka minions) and our family dynamic is diverse. By diverse, I mean we are a neurodiverse family because my oldest son is autistic and it's rocked my world. Even though my world is unpredictable and messy, I want to invite you into it. Are you down for that?


If you are still reading this then I will assume you are on board for this adventure with me. I chose 100 Days To Brave as our newest Live Slow Bible Study because I need more brave in my life. During these last 12 months I've been overtaken by fear and confusion as we plowed through my son's diagnosis, my family's financial crisis and my husbands career change. Sometimes life just throw wrenches at your face, am I right? Or am I right?

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Today is DAY ONE and the next 4 days will cover the BRAVE ENOUGH TO START section of your book. That is what we are chatting about today. 


CLICK HERE FOR LINK IF VIDEO DOESN'T PLAY: VIDEO



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My hope with this first chat is that you've started Day 1 and look forward to days 1-5. I'll shoot you an email again on day 6 when we start our next conversation about "Brave Enough To Be You"

I'd love for you to share a COMMENT BELOW to be real with other women walking through this same study.

I love you guys way more than you can ever imagine. My prayer is that I can wash your feet virtually during these 100 days. I want to meet you where you are and shower love + belonging on you #sorryifthatscheesy #imeanit

I know being brave is hard. I know sometimes life sucks. But the beauty of it all is that God can show us the way. We can experience peace in our hearts. I want that for you!

xoxo

Laura



New Live Slow Bible Study: 100 Days To Brave

We start Monday, are you ready?

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We've been preparing for weeks and Monday can't come soon enough. Monday is our day 1 of our read through of 100 Days To Brave.

WHAT TO EXPECT?

This online bible study will be email + blog based. I chose to take this off social media because (personally) I get way too distracted and start chasing squirrels. 

If you look at the table of contents of the book, you will see Angie separated the book into sections. Each of those sections (Brave Enough To Start, Brave Enough To Be You, etc) will cue a blog + email from yours truly. Don't worry, I won't harass your inbox with 100 emails. For those organized types (not I), here are the emails broken down by the day we will start that section: 


I want to create a bond between us because hanging out with like-minded women is special and unique. I've opened up commenting on my blog so let's hang out there! Please (it's encouraged!) comment on each blog I share with the summary and overview of that section. 

HOORAY! Because I love yall, each blog over said section will include: 

  • Video overview

  • Podcast summary

  • My favorite takeaways

  • Prayer requests

  • Other surprise goodies


HOW TO PREPARE?

Make sure you have the book, 100 Days To Brave 
Don't half-way show up. Dive in! 

Go ahead and practice commenting on my blog: 
1) Tell us your name
2) Where you are from
3) Family life (married, kids, work. ?) 
4) Why you joined our Live Slow Bible Study?




WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT? 

"You were always meant to be brave.

Whether you're making a major decision, dealing with a difficult transition, or facing a fear, 100 Days toBrave will give you courage and confidence to move forward.

Annie F. Downs felt her challenges were too difficult, too scary, too much. Then she decided to stop allowing fear to hold her back. It wasn't easy or simple. But it was good.

With honesty and relatable humor, this compilation of best-of writings and new pieces from Annie will give you the inspiration to embrace the path and the plan God has for you and experience personal growth.

Dare to spend the next 100 days discovering that you are braver than you know and stronger than you thought possible." (excerpt from Amazon.com) 


If you wanted to join that FITNESS side of the Bible Study (optional), learn more from this PDF Info Guidethen fill out this PRE-ORDER FORM.

Thank you! I can’t wait to meet you, comment below —


1) Tell us your name
2) Where you are from
3) Family life (married, kids, work. ?) 
4) Why you joined our Live Slow Bible Study?

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7 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Being Brave

When you do not want to be brave but must…

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All of us are meant to be brave.

We may not always feel like being brave, but we must face our fears in order to live a love fast live slow life. Fear sucks. It can be paralyzing. But God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us the power to be brave. 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

Perhaps the mistake we make is relying 100% on ourselves to plow through scary times. To help you (me) overcome, here are 7 ways to trick yourself into being brave: 

1. Own it (Admit it, always first step)

2. Tame it (is it really life threatening or just a little scary?)

3. Name it (Who is telling you this thing is scary?)

4. Flip it (What is the worst that could happen?)

5. Embody it (Take a deep breath. You are braver than you realize) 

6. Risk it (Trust God and take the leap) 

7. Build it (Keep going outside your comfort zone to stretch yourself)


These 7 tips are from a great article at Success.com, find entire article here


Not everything God calls us to do will be within our comfort zone. As a matter of fact, rarely do growth and comfort live in the same space. 

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{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC}    Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC} Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

PS. Need some more BRAVE in your life? Us too. Laura is starting a new #LiveSlowBibleStudy over a devotional book called, 100 Days To Brave. It starts Monday (July 29th). Learn more here: Live Slow Bible Study


Until next time,
Nick and Laura Mendenhall

{Blurb from our book} First Time Ever!!

The Power of Persistent Prayer

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Do you need a miracle? And need it fast?

Join the club. We all have urgent requests we'd love God to answer... like yesterday! And how should we respond? Pray like the persistent widow. 

For the first time ever, we are sharing a short blurb from our upcoming book, Love Fast Live Slow
 

"My pastor has preached many times about prayer. One message in particular has stuck out to me from the parable of the persistent widow. 

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1

Jesus went on to describe a persistent widow who kept coming to a judge asking for justice against an enemy. Apparently her plea was frequent because she wore down that judge. 

“The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Luke 18:4-5

Even this judge who had no care for God or reason to extend justice to this widow caved to her consistency.

“So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?” Luke 18:7

If you are in the trenches like us...  albeit hard, your faith will be strengthened. If we are asking God for something, let’s approach Him like the widow approached the judge. Day and night. In full faith the right thing will be done. She was asking for something that aligned with God’s will, justice. When we ask God for favor, make sure it’s aligned with His will and not our own vanity. Remain persistent, faithful and trust that God hears your prayers day and night."

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{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC}    Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC} Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

FREEBIE: Need a bit more structure and accountability with your prayer life? Laura is starting a 100 day challenge on Monday, July 29th. She will be walking women from all over the country through a devotional study (hosted via email and blog). If that is something you need, check out more info here: Live Slow Bible Study

xoxo

Laura




This One Things Affects Your Entire Day...

This One Thing Affects Your Entire Day..

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What's your guess?

Morning. You read it right, have a good morning. If you start your day with momentum, you can keep it up for the rest of the day. Some people are natural early birds and others are night owls. Regardless of your preference, there is proof that creating a regular morning routine will improve your mood, energy, metabolism, spirit and life.

How to have a Love Fast Live Slow morning?

We believe there are three key components to a LFLS morning.

First, plan ahead. Set that alarm. Go to sleep early enough. Write down what you hope to accomplish in your morning routine. Be realistic yet don't cut corners on the good stuff.

Second, don't skip the good stuff; bible study and breakfast. The grand trifecta would include exercise but I'll leave that one out assuming you'd knock that out in the afternoon, right? ;)

Third, do something for someone. Waking up with a LFLS mindset means you must start your day considering the needs of someone else. This could include bringing your spouse coffee in bed, texting someone a compliment, planning to meet for lunch with that friend you keep rain-checking, you know the one.

Jesus was a morning guy.

You don't earn more brownie points for waking up first, but you do become more like Jesus if you rock your morning.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35

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{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC}    Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC} Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

PS. If you want to get serious about a morning routine, Laura is starting a new #LiveSlowBibleStudy soon. There are two options, (1) Online Bible Study and (2) Fitness accountabilty + Online Bible Study (depending on which floats your boat, both are going to be amazing IMO). Learn more here: Live Slow Bible Study

xoxo

Laura

3 Reasons God Doesn't Answer your EVERY Prayer

3 Reasons God Doesn't Answer All Your Prayers 

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1. We pray for easy.

Raise your hand (metaphorically raise your hand; I know no one will actually raise their hand while reading this... although now you are considering it... gotcha) if you've ever prayed for something without asking God what His will was first. My hands, feet and elbows are raised high. There are a lot of things that would make my life easier and I pray for them often. But easy doesn't build character. Easy is not always God's best.

2. We pray as know-it-alls.

Let's get something straight. We aren't smarter than God. His ways are far greater than our ways. He knows the beginning, middle and end of our brief story here on earth. There is power in praying in faith and making our requests known to God, but it's dangerous to go to God as if He needs our advice or input. Instead, go to God in humility and surrender, trusting that no matter what turns out, that it's your chance to bring glory to Him.

3. We don't pray at all.

Consider the possibility that you aren't actually praying. Perhaps passive thoughts like "I hope God comes through for me this time" roll through your mind but you haven't actually talked to God. There is a big difference between THINKING about praying and ACTUALLY praying. God desires a relationship with you, my friend. And having the faith to talk to Him is a great first step in strengthening that relationship.

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{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC}    Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

{SHAREABLE GRAPHIC} Click the image above and save & share it. Remember, LFLS is OUR ministry. You and me. We are all in this together. Use the hashtag #lovefastliveslow and we will share your post to our feed.

xoxo

Laura

Does God want us to be "down-to-earth"?

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Real quick, I wanted to drop some life lessons I am learning from our guy Moses. He lives mostly in Exodus and most known for confronting the biggest power in the world. He led millions of enslaved Israelites out of Egypt. Pretty spectacular resume hook.

1. Moses was insecure.

But God still used him. He was raised like royalty in the Egyptian palace with Pharaoh's daughter. One could think he got a big head or felt entitled because of his status... but Moses was quite down-to-earth. And when God called him to lead, he didn't feel qualified.

2. God equipped Moses.

Leading an entire nation to freedom wasn't a small feat. Moses remained approachable, compassionate (albeit frustrated at their frequent worship of idols) and meek.

3. Moses was meek

"The man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth" (Numbers 12:3). Why is this important to our LFLS community? By learning and absorbing character traits the God celebrates, we will more easily live out our mission to love fast and live slow. Let's start today.

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Question of the day:  LFLS QOTD:  What can you do to be MORE meek this week?

LFLS Challenge:
What can you do to be MORE meek this week?

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Laura

What 6 things should you PUT ON daily?

What 6 things should you put on daily?


Spend 15 brainless minutes scrolling social media and you will smell the stench of jealousy, conflict and insecurities that breed hatred. As a Love Fast Live Slow Insider, we hope you lead with love and take time to spread kindness in person and online. God tells us to, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31).

Note: The Bible doesn't command us to just LOVE OURSELVES. The Bible says LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as much as you love yourself. 

How do we show love FIRST and OFTEN?
Simple. Put on love. 

"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."  Colossians 3:12-14
 



(Lettering & Image from local artist Krystal Whitten)

6 Things You Should Put On Daily

  1. Compassionate heart. Spend five minutes a day practicing putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Choose a news report, a neighbor or a member of your own family that is going through a tough time. Don’t shy away as soon as you think, “That must be awful!” Dive deep into what it’s like to suffer in that way. This exercise can help you learn to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).
  2. Kindness. Kindness starts as a thought but ends as an action. Acting kindly toward others is the only real way to let people know we care about them and their happiness. Being kind to others doesn’t have to be complex or fancy. Sometimes the simplest acts of kindness are seen as the most sincere, such as holding the door, helping with directions, saying “please” and “thank you,” or even just a smile.
  3. Humility“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” — Matthew 23:12. Someone who’s gone through the wringer and doesn’t feel the need to self-catapult themselves all the time is humble. In fact, a few words by Frank Ocean seem very fitting here: “Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.”
  4. Meekness. Meekness is calm confidence, settled assurance, and rest of the soul. It is the tranquil stillness of a heart that is at rest in Christ. It is the place of peace.
  5. Patience. Instant gratification may seem like the the most “feel good” option, but recent research shows you may feel "happier" if you wait. And the only way for us to get into the habit of waiting (and as a result, reap the joyful benefits) is to practice. Start with small tasks: Put off watching your favorite show until the weekend or wait 10 extra minutes before going for that brownie. You’ll soon find that the more patience you practice, the more you start to apply it to other, more irritating situations.
  6. Love. No matter what else there is in our life, if we lack love then we lack the greatest thing. Love perfectly fulfills what God requires of us in relationships. If we truly pursue love, we will truly pursue all those other things. Love will lead us to them. Yet, if we pursue those other virtues without love, things will get distorted and imbalanced.


As you get dressed today, review these 6 things. And above all else, put on love. 

xoxo 

3 Ways To Make Someone Smile This Week

Can you make someone happy?


Science says yes. Last week, Nick and I had the privilege of attending an inspiring event with a keynote speaker who discussed this very thing. According to Shawn Achor, "when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive. This discovery has been repeatedly supported by research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the world."

And it's been proven that smiling at anyone within your 10-foot radius can elevate positive feelings. 

Sharing a SMILE can make someone HAPPY.  You can literally impact someone's happiness (not just temporary mood) by smiling. What a powerful gift!!
 

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Three Ways To Make Someone Smile This Week

  1. Smile first
    The easiest and possibly the most effective way to get someone to smile is to smile at them first. People don’t seem to do this anymore. I remember when I was a kid walking through the park with my family and everyone would smile at each other and say hello. Now people sort of just power walk through the park and avert their eyes when they get near you. Perhaps it is because we have so much more fear now. I don’t know. But what I do know is that if you smile at someone first they will almost always smile back and walk away feeling happier.
  2. Offer a random complimentThis seems like a pretty obvious thing to do but it actually takes a lot more guts than people think. Compliments are a sure-fire way to make someone smile but quite often they are hard to deliver. It takes bravery.
  3. Shake hands, hug or physically interact. The final thing I am going to offer is one of the most powerful. It is physical interaction. This is a truly wonderful way to cheer someone up and brighten their day.


Love fast today. Do good and smile more. 

50 Ways to DE-STRESS

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Even though I am my own boss, I can get behind and stressed just like the best of em'. I laugh often at my unrealistic list of daily to-dos. We all only have 24 hours in a day. 

The best way I know how to DE-STRESS is to take action. I'm a huge advocate of TAKING ACTION.


So when I'm a bit behind in projects or feeling stressed, I know the best therapy is to DO something (instead of sitting and wallowing in panic). 
 

Here is what I DID this week when I was feeling a little overwhelmed: I made a list of 50 ways to LOVE FAST & LIVE SLOW.

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It was totally therapeutic! 

 Such a wonderful reminder that in moments of overwhelm... I can quickly come back to reality when I step back, slow down and love on others. 

 SOOOOO - that is what I'm doing now!! A way I can GIVE BACK (and as a result de-stress) is to give anyone who wants it this fresh-hot-off-the-press list of "50 ways to Love Fast & Live Slow."

It's helped me and I think it will help you ❤

A few examples from the list:
 

  1.  Remind yourself that busy does not make you important.
  2.  Notice the seasons changing and your children growing up.
  3. Make your career out of something you love.
  4. Leave your phone on the table during dinner time.
  5. Identify your time wasters and banish them.
  6. Spend 3 minutes on stretching every morning.
  7. Completely rest one day of the week.
  8.  Forgive yourself for not being perfect.
  9. Have more game nights w/ friends. Laugh More.
  10. Schedule time to exercise.
  11. Let go of the fear of failure.
  12. Tip 20% even if you have bad service. Why? Because you can make someone elses day happy.
  13. Act on your first instinct to help and to serve somebody.
  14. Sit with your children and read them a book. Sit on the ground and play blocks with them.
  15. Your time is a gift, donate it to charity every quarter.
  16. Have your kids a practice on reading books while you cook dinner.
  17.  Remember you make fewer mistakes when you slow down.
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Those are just a few.
 My tough love: Don't be a diva, you are not
 the busiest or most stressed person on the planet.
So put your frantic emotion led whiny excuses
in the trash.

Be realistic with your time and realize that will make fewer mistakes and makes stress less!

Slow down and make a list of priorities and just get it done!

That's my 2 cents. 

If you'd want the COMPLETE list of 50 way to take a chill pill, just shoot me your email below!


DROP YOUR EMAIL BELOW TO BECOME A #LOVEFASTLIVESLOW INSIDER -- I will send you a list of 50 Ways to De-Stress!