Content With my Portion

A couple of months ago, one of my closest friends sent me a book for my birthday. Being a wife and mom, it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I finally was able to sit down during the baby’s naptime and delve into it. Very quickly I realized that the theme of the devotional book was on the topic of contentment. To be honest, I knew I needed this. I KNOW I need to be reminded of this today. Every. Single. Day.

Discontentment Robs Us
Discontentment slips into the heart so quickly- so seemingly innocently- and loves to set up home…. I think in women’s hearts especially. Get on Facebook for any amount of time and you’ll find someone taking a better vacation than you, losing more weight, styling a new haircut, wearing nicer, more expensive clothes, or enjoying a bigger, more beautiful home, etc….the list goes on. And if we’re not careful as women- seeing other’s seemingly perfect lives/bodies/children/homes in front of us- we can easily, so easily, slip into the mode of discontentment and envy. Discontentment at its heart robs us of our joy that should be found in Christ and all the blessings He has given us. It takes a choice, with God’s grace, to speak truth to ourselves in moments of discontent. It takes saying along with the Psalmist, “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.” Psalm 16:5.


Contentment is a RESTING and an ACCEPTING of what God has specifically portioned to me, knowing and firmly believing that He is always good, and therefore what He has portioned to me is GOOD.

I’m learning that discontentment leads directly to a lack of joy and a heart of envy, but that contentment is a beautiful, sweet grace that leads to a peace and joy no matter what my circumstance may be. It causes me then to be happy, truly happy, for others and the portion He has given them. It is my prayer and my desire, by God’s grace, to be a woman with a true heart of contentment. I want to be able to say along with Paul, “…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret…I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13.

The Mission of Being a Mom

The mission of being a mom

Some of my earliest childhood memories is from going to church with my grandmother.  I remember the red buttons on the pew and how I would neatly stack the quarters my grandmother gave me for offering on them each week.  I remember how my aunt would always share a half a stick of gum with me.  I remember how proud everyone was of me that I could recite the Lord’s prayer from memory.  I can still sing the songs that I was taught in Sunday School there even though I haven’t heard them for years.  I can vividly remember hearing the story about the woman at the well and how my little ears heard the “woman and the whale.”  Oh, how I wish there was flannel graph that day!  That story perplexed my little pre-school mind and it stuck with me.  It was years later before the real meaning of the story stuck out to me.  To this day, when I hear the story about the Samaritan woman I pause for a moment and think back to my mental image of a woman and a whale.

It’s a funny story to look back on now but at the same time it terrifies me.  It’s paralyzing to think of how much little minds can remember.  That whale is etched in my mind.  Oh, how I desire to train my daughter and son up right.  Being a parent is an enormous responsibility….and opportunity.  I don’t want to squander it.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

Teaching children about God and His Word is a non-stop, 24-7 duty.  As I’m reminding myself again that I need to be intentional about what I’m teaching my children I want to encourage you to do the same.  We’re teaching them things every day by the way we live and behave.  Let’s make sure we’re teaching them spiritual truths too.  What a blessing it is to be a spiritual guide to our children!

A Confident Heart Only $.99

I absolutely adore Renee Swope’s book A Confident Heart.  I feel like she wrote it just for me.

Now that it’s currently on sale for only $.99 I hope you’ll pick it up too!

You can buy it on Amazon here.

A Confident Heart BookYou don’t have to have a Kindle to read it either.  You can download the Kindle app to read on your iPad or PC.



5 Important Lessons from Ants

5 lessons to learn from ants!

I love ants.  Weird, right?  They are fascinating creatures!  If you ever get an opportunity to see a Discovery channel show on them check it out.  These little guys can care up to seven times their own body weight!  Not to mention the complex communities they set up where each ant plays a role.  They’re incredible!

Go to the ant...

Proverbs 6:6-8 says, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”

This is a verse I memorized years ago and is still convicting every time I read it or think about it.  And of course I think about it every time I see an ant.

5 Lessons from an Ant: 

  • – Ants take the shortest path possible.  Don’t wander – be intentional.
  • – Ants communicate with each other to reach a desired goal.  Communicate – don’t assume.
  • – Ants cooperate with one another.  Be friendly and helpful.
  • – Ants aren’t lazy.  Don’t be slothful.
  • – Ants plan ahead.  If ants plan ahead and they only have somewhere near a 60 day lifespan, shouldn’t we?

The ants pictured above were making their way across my porch earlier this week and every time I went outside I was reminded that the Bible calls me a sluggard. Quite accurately I might add.  Sure I could make the defense that I’m always busy – because I am.  Or that my mind never slows down – because it doesn’t.  However, I’m quite lazy.

I avoid doing things that I dislike doing or things that require more effort.  Whether that’s ironing clothes or having an uncomfortable but needed conversation.  I procrastinate and stay busy with other things.  Right now, I need to be planning VBS that is happening way. too. soon!  Could I have done it earlier?  Yes.  Did I over the past few months ever have an uninterrupted two hour block of time during the day where I could sit down and do it?  Of course not.  But I could have done it.  I should have done it but I chose the easy road.

Wanna know a secret?  The easy road always looks easy but once you get on it, it turns into the hard road.  The hard road on the other hand looks hard but once you get on it, it turns out to be easy.  The easy road is deceptive.  It’s a liar.  It’s the way of destruction, poverty, starvation, and desperation.  It’s the way to financial ruin, wasted days, wasted weeks, wasted months, wasted years, and well, wasted lives.  The hard road which seems to be difficult is actually the road to prosperity, blessing, fulfillment, happiness, and personal satisfaction.  The hard road is the bumpy path that leads you to the top while the easy road is a slippery slope that leads you to the bottom.  The only road that goes to the top is the hard road.  It’s tough at first but it’s the only road that will get you to where you want to be.

I’m not saying to be a work-a-holic, to spend yourself till there’s nothing left, or to work 80+ hours a week.  As a mom I know it’s easy to feel defeated at the end of, well, every day.  I feel like with each day that passes I’m a little more behind on laundry, or housework, or corresponding with loved ones, etc.  That’s a whole other post but the point I’m trying to make is don’t waste your life.

Don’t waste your life!

Especially on the things that won’t matter one iota next year.  Get up and do something with the opportunities that God has placed before you.  Whatever you do, do to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31).  Use your intelligence {ha! I have to share that I misspelled this word but spell-check saved me!}.  Where was I?  Okay, use your intelligence, your passions, your gifts, your resources, and do something.  Do it with all your might!  In the words of my third grade teacher, Mrs. Franklin, “Don’t just twiddle your thumbs!”  Dear friend, life is happening, don’t let it pass you by.

What is it that you know you need to do this week that has been left undone in your life? It will probably take you less than five seconds to answer that question. I’ve already answered the question in my own life. Now that you know what it is, name it.  Write it down.  Tell a friend for accountability.  Leave it in the comments below if you want. Plan it out. Schedule it on your planner. Most importantly, do it. This week. No excuses.

Faith – No Thicker Than a Spider’s Web

It's the strength of the anchor

“If your faith is fixed on Christ, though it seems to be in itself a line no thicker than a spider’s web, it will hold your soul throughout time and eternity.  For remember it is not the thickness of this cable of faith, it is the strength of the anchor which imparts strength to the cable, and so shall hold your ship in the midst of the most fearful storm.” – Charles Spurgeon

I absolutely love this quote!  It’s from the book called The Spurgeon Series 1859 & 1860 written by Charles Spurgeon, Larry Pierce, & Marion Pierce.  You can buy the Kindle edition on Amazon for $5.99.

This saving faith is more than just an acknowledgment of facts, it consists of mental, emotional, and volitional elements.  Charles Stanley says, “Believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a living person, for the forgiveness of sin and trusting Him because He provides eternal life with God. It isn’t enough to simply believe in the actions of Jesus Christ or the abilities of God. True saving faith is more than that; it is a personal relationship with the Savior.”  John MacArthur has said, “True faith hears, believes, and actively responds.”

Dear friend, I hope you can have the joy of rejoicing in your salvation today.  If you’ve never put your trust in Christ to save you, take a few minutes to read over these truths about man and God:

  • – God designed and created the universe and all that is within it, and it is by His power that everything holds together. Colossians 1:16-17
  • – God is perfect in all areas and completely without sin. Psalm 96:9
  • – God designed mankind in His own image to reflect His glory. Genesis 1:27
  • – Mankind chose to disobey their Creator and by doing so brought sin’s curse upon the earth and eternally separated them from the One who created them. Genesis 3,Romans 5:12-13
  • – Because of sin’s curse, and my sin, I am born separated from God and deserving of His everlasting punishment. Romans 2:12Romans 3:10-12Romans 6:23
  • – God’s Son Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay sin’s penalty, and rose again on the third day defeating sin and death. Romans 5:6-10I Corinthians 15:3-4
  • – By turning to Christ from our sin and trusting in His work on the cross alone to save us from our sin, God imparts Christ’s righteousness on our behalf and we are freely given eternal life with Him. He gives us the power to enjoy fellowship with Him and live a life that is pleasing to Him. Romans 5:1-2Romans 3:23-24John 3:16-17

If you have questions about God or salvation, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me at MrsAshleyWalkup @  I would love to discuss this life changing truth with you!

Good Work

I’ve been thinking about work lately.

Cleaning the Kitchen

Greater minds than mine have written about this, so I will step back from my own words at times in order that their words can speak.

The idea of work has changed a great deal over the centuries, but more recently (relatively speaking) it has undergone a more dramatic change.  In the beginning, we were created to work.


And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

We were made to do significant and meaningful work and we were made to do it well.

Mankind moved from each person or family creating all that they needed themselves to families gathering together in villages and having specific people working to make what was needed for everyone (the metal smith making tools for the hunters, the potter making jars to hold water, etc.).  Yet now, in our modern age, we have moved even farther down this road so that we now have work that is solely for the purpose of earning money.


No longer do we consider whether a work is good in itself, nor do we consider whether an unnecessary work is done well.  It has, in fact, become necessary that work is not done in a way that is good.  How else would people continue to consume, and workers therefore continue to have work, if the products being made were not designed to wear out quickly?

There is still plenty of work that is both good in itself and that is good to do well: agricultural laborers, doctors, teachers, artists, and many others do work which they would do even if there were no pay to be had in it.  Yet there is another whole category of work that has no significance and no importance.  It was only created to allow the maximum number of people to be employed.

Assembly Line

Employing people is not an evil, of course.  It was an act of love that led from talk of reducing the “surplus population” to talk of reducing unemployment.  The danger is that this has led us to forget that unemployment is not an end in itself.  We want people, as C.S. Lewis put it, to be employed only as a means to their being fed – believing that it is better to feed them even for making bad things badly than for doing nothing.

Perhaps this view is correct, but it should not lead us into enforced appreciation for work that is not good.

I, of course, have no plan for ending this sort of endless cycle of meaningless jobs producing poor quality products that are consumed briefly and then discarded, requiring a new replacement product.  Yet perhaps it is something just to recognize the problem and the insanity of the idea of meaningless work.

Just as the Christian has a great advantage over other men, not by being less fallen than they nor less doomed to live in a fallen world, but by knowing that he is a fallen man in a fallen world; so we shall do better if we remember at every moment what Good Work was and how impossible it has now become for the majority.  ~ C.S. Lewis

One of the areas in which I see this most clearly is in Christian art.  It is another topic for another essay to discuss whether or not there even IS such a thing as Christian art but, as Madeleine L’Engle said, if it is bad art, it’s bad religion, no matter how pious the subject.  When art is done well it testifies to God, even if the artist does not know God.

The Water Lily Pond

Provided he is an artist of integrity, he is a genuine servant of the glory which he does not recognize, and unknown to himself there is ‘something divine’ about his work.  ~ Madeleine L’Engle

In the same way, work that is done well, even if the worker does not personally believe in God, testifies to the glory of God. It is not an insignificant instruction of Paul’s that whatever we do, we should work at it as if we were working for God rather than only for men.

Whatever we do, whether we are leading a meeting or scrubbing a toilet, whether we are painting the sunrise or designing a bookshelf that will be put together by a young father, we are to do good work.

We may have to earn our living by taking part in the production of objects which…would not be worth producing – the demand or ‘market’ for them having been simply engineered by advertisement.  Beside the waters of Babylon – or the assembly belt – we shall still say inwardly, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

In this way we will testify to the glory of God and will draw others to Him so that they, too, may bask in His presence.

 What do you think?  Should anything be done about work that is unnesessary or of poor quality?  Can anything be done?  What about your own job: would you still do it if you did not need the income to survive?

Art credits: photo of factory by Henno Jacques; Ford assembly line photo from Wiki Commons; The Water Lily Pond painting by Claude Monet

It’s Easy To Love God When Things Are Going Well

Praising God because of who He is!

It’s easy to love God when things are going well.  When the blessings come my way, when my prayers are answered, when I’m feeling the “sun” shining down on me.
It’s easy to praise Him in those times. Easy to tell others to hang in there and that God has reasons for what He does.

It’s hard to praise God when things aren’t going well. When the job is terminated, the finances are a mess, and the bitter cold of the world seems to rest on your shoulders.

It’s harder to love Him when He seems so silent in answer to your prayer request. When the blessings don’t come and when everything seems hard.  But that’s when our true faith is able to shine. That’s when what we really believe comes out. That’s when we grow.

I don’t just love God because of what He can do for me. I love Him because of who I believe He is.

I don’t praise God because all is right in my world. I praise Him because of who He is.
He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is the same whether I am blessed or whether I’m challenged. He is the same whether He answers me “yes” or “no.” My view of Him may change – but He does not change. I just can’t always see the reasoning or the full picture.

Ultimately, I trust God. I have faith in Him. I adore Him. I trust Him even when my heart is aching and I wonder why the timing isn’t “now” for what I’m seeking in life. I have faith in Him even when I don’t think things are fair – for I know He wants what is best for me. Oh yes, I adore Him. I adore Him even when life gets ugly.

I believe in my Lord and Savior. And that – for me – trumps everything else I go through.

So it may be easy to love Him when thing are going well, but it’s natural for me to still love Him when they aren’t. I just can’t live any other way.

– Dionna Sanchez
Connect with me on my writers page at

Don’t Do This Alone

Carrying His CrossAnd he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Taking someone a cup of coffee when she has treated you unkindly.

Coffee Gift

Smiling at the cashier when he has just spoken harshly.

Doing one of your spouse’s chores and hoping that he doesn’t even notice, much less reciprocate.

Taking on extra at work when you know that it will just encourage your coworker to give you her extra more regularly.

Working Hard

Getting down on the floor with your child rather than sticking him in front of the television so that you can read.


Denying yourself is wearying. Taking up your cross daily sometimes seems almost impossible.

Some days it almost seems easier to throw myself in front of the lions for Christ’s sake than to live my life for Him. Most days I’d much rather live for myself.

To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely. ~ Jorge Luis Borges

To deny myself and take up my cross every single day seems daunting and lonely.

Trying Hard

Perhaps the lonely part of that is what makes it seem so daunting.

After all, the same Christ who told us to take up our cross had help carrying His own.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 

So gather around yourself those who are also striving to carry their cross. Seek out those who will encourage you to deny yourself.

Help Each Other

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 

Imitate Christ in ALL His ways…for we were not meant to do this alone. 

Hold Each Other Up

Art credit: Photo of Christ carrying His cross by Asta Rastauskiene

Big Plans

God has really big plans for your life.

Everybody wants to know the answer to the question, “How do I find God’s plan for my life?” Maybe you want to know the answer to questions like, Do I take the job? Is he the right guy for me? Do I go away to a big university or go to the community college across town? Buy or rent? Life involves lots of questions, right? The good news is God wants you to know the answers to these questions concerning your life more than you want to know them. Got big plans that present big questions? Go to God for answers. He does not play hide and seek with us when it comes to knowing His plan for us. His plans for us are laid out clearly in His Word.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

You make plans to do this or go there. Parents make plans for their children. Kids make plans for the summer. Spouses make plans for a husband or wife. But the only plan that really matters is the one made for you by the God Who loves you. His plan goes back – way back before you were born. Listen to what God says concerning you.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

Those promises should bring you a great sense of security, knowing that God has a plan for your life. And what a big plan it is! Your Heavenly Father wants to show you how to maximize your life – to get out of life all that you can. I call it, “Squeezing all the juice out of life.” You can live a life that is prosperous, meaningful, purposeful, successful and fulfilling. If you are anything like me, you really want that! I know I want to live a life that allows me to enjoy my relationships with people, my work, my recreation and my relationship with God. Even my challenges do not intimidate me because I know that God loves me and will even allow my challenges to work for me and not against me. My challenges will not take me under. In Christ I am always an overcomer.

God’s plan is the best plan. When you want to know anything about your life, ask the One Who knows best. No need to check the newspaper for your horoscope. If you’re tempted to call the psychic, hang up the phone. That little piece a paper from the Chinese fortune cookie is just that – a piece of paper inside a hollow shell. The God who created you and loves you has written the details to your life plan. And what a great plan it is!

It’s Hard To Give Up What You Love

Have you ever prayed so hard for something but when it finally started happening, you found the transition to be hard?

It is hard to give things up. It is hard to sacrifice.
I found that out.

I had been longing for years to move to a warmer climate. But wanting something and actually putting in what it takes to get that something are two different things.
I loved my home. My beautiful home. My “over 3500 square foot” home sitting on an acre about 20 mins out of town. I loved hearing the horses and the cows in the summertime. I loved the “buffer” zone we had between neighbors. I loved the greenery. I loved my beautiful big kitchen with the huge island in the middle and the openness between rooms in my house. I loved my walk-in closet and my big bathroom.
So wanting something different in locale meant giving up something that I loved. To gain, you usually have to give up something. And that was true in this case.

I was excited to finally be doing something. To be working towards something I’d wanted for so long. But the day we put our house on the market, I cried. I didn’t expect to, but I cried. I realized my house was a part of me. So many memories there. And I was so thankful for it. I knew it was a blessing. When we first built our house, I told God that I would always use it for Him because I knew it was a gift from Him. And I did. I let the youth group have parties at our house, we hosted missionaries, and we opened our doors to others.

Our house sold in two weeks. TWO weeks in a market that was still shaky. Exciting? Yes! Scary? Absolutely. Hard?? Most definitely.

I’d walk around my back yard in the season that I loved living in my house the most. I knew I was going to miss it. Terribly. I had no idea where I’d live next. Would it be a tiny little house? Would I even have a grass backyard much less an acre? Would my kitchen have beautiful hardwood floors? Would I be proud of my house. 

And the verse kept going through my head over and over again – “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  Matthew 19:24

I never considered myself rich. But I finally FELT and understood the words in this verse. It is hard to give up blessings and good things in life. It’s hard to give up material things. And it is at that point when it’s hard, that we have placed them too greatly in our lives.

Sacrifice is always hard. No one said it would be easy. But if we refuse to do it at all, then we are just like that rich man who values what He has more than He values God’s kingdom.

I still had a hard time letting my beautiful house go. But from that moment on, I could look at it and see that a house is just a house – no matter how much you love it. It’s the family that lives within those walls that makes a house a home. And that can be done in any building.

I don’t want to be like that rich man. I don’t want to be too selfish to give up the beautiful things in my life. It may not be easy and I may trade them in for something that isn’t quite as beautiful; but a rich life isn’t in things….it’s in people. And it’s good to remember that.