Friday, October 28, 2016

Moved to new location!

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by here. I'm guessing an old link has led you this way. It's still under the same domain but some of the permalinks bring you back here. No worries, just come join me for all the fun at the new location.

Let me know what you think of the new site!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

5 Ways to Pray for a Loved Ones Salvation

Have you been praying for a loved one’s salvation?

I get it, it's hard to keep praying day after day when we don't see results. At least in our timing anyway. But, God is big enough to handle it! He loves our loved ones even more than we do. Of course He wants them to come to know Him.

I have been known to badger, pester, maybe even harass a “little” the people I love and would like them to come to know the Lord in my time. Just like so many other things with God, we learn it isn't about our timing. I'm not gonna lie, I would still love it to be in my timing, but I've learned to trust Him.

I find the hardest part is to keep praying even when you don't know the outcome. Having faith and trusting that God will work it out for the best.

My grandma spent many years praying for my dad to come to know the Lord as his Savior.  There were countless times when it would have been easy for her to give up. Yet she continued! Not only did my dad accept the Lord, he has shared the gospel of God’s saving grace to hundreds of others. I have clung to her example as I have prayed for those I love through the years.

So what can we do when it comes to having a loved one or a friend that hasn't accepted the Lord as their Savior.

  1. Never stop praying! Prayer is the most powerful tool we have. Use the authority given to us in Christ. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (emphasis added)

  1. Let our light shine. We need to live our lives in a way that points all the glory back to God. Our best sermon is our life. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

  1. Resist the urge to preach at them. I know this is hard for some of us to swallow but something we need to hear. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15

  1. Tell God when we're frustrated. Don’t be afraid to share it with Him. He is a big God and can handle our frustrations. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

  1. Trust! We simply have to turn it over to God. It doesn’t make the choice easy but it’s also not complicated. It does us no good to try and manipulate so let go and let God! Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

The choice to persevere is simple but living it out isn’t easy. Each morning is full of God’s new mercies. Wake up, pray, shine, resist the enemy, share and trust. Now rinse and repeat each day!

God is relentlessly pursuing those we love.
He’s not slow in keeping His promises.

Is there one of these steps that you find the most challenging? Let’s discuss it in the comments and hold each other up in prayer.

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Truths for transition + Announcement (Giveaway)

Over the last two weeks we’ve dug into how moving into a new season of life can make us feel as well as ways to deal with it. Today I want to share some truth nuggets we can plant deep in our hearts as we move forward.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13 (ESV)

Direct your children onto the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

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)

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (ESV)

Also, I have very exciting news!
I'm so blessed to be among the contributors of a new book out from a community of writer's called 
"Five Minute Friday".

You can order a copy from Amazon or visit the following link for more info:

Want to win your own copy of the FMF Book? 
Enter to win right here!

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Monday, September 19, 2016

Empty Nest Part 2

In my previous post we discussed how it can feel as enter into this new phase of life called empty nest. So, what can we do to make the this transition easier?

First, acknowledge your feelings. We’re often told to just move on, let go and be happy. So if we don’t feel that way immediately shame has a way of isolating us even more.

The enemy wants to go unnoticed. He gets you separated from where you’re supposed to be through subtle coincidences.

Trust God. I know this sounds like an oversimplified Christianize answer but hear me out. Every day wake up and be honest with God. Talk to Him. Don’t try to hide your feelings from Him. Hint, He already knows anyway.

Trust Him to meet you wherever you are in the process and walk alongside you. You don’t have to clean up first. Come as you are!

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:13 (NLT)

Invest in the new relationship. We’ll always be mama's to our kids but the relationship is going to change and that’s healthy. Ask God to show you what this entails now. I know it’s hard but we need to be there for our kids while encouraging them as they find their independence.
(sidenote – I’m still a work in progress on this part!)

Also, invest in your marriage! My husband and I are loving our time together since God is helping me work this out. As women we often put our husbands on the backburner as we feel our little’s need us more. The best thing my husband ever said to me as we dropped our first son off at college was, “It’s okay mom, you did your job well.” Make time to enjoy the quieter moments with your man now.

Connect with friends. This may be new friends or rekindling old ones. Spend time reaching out and connecting. We’re created to be in community and fellowship. If you’re like me, your community has been through your kids sports and activities. You are now free to explore your own activities and the friendships and community that go with them.

Seek out God’s plans. Follow His lead in whatever direction He is calling you now. There is a new found freedom you’ll experience in this season. It allows more time to settle into new pursuits.

Don’t feel bad for enjoying this new life! There is no shame in enjoying less expenses! Or cooking less, fewer loads of laundry or not having to scrub a toilet two boys were sure was for target practice!

Finally, don’t run from the quiet. Silence equated to loneliness to me and I ran from it at breakneck speed. There was never a time last year I didn’t have some sort of music or the TV on when home.

Silence is a blessing not a curse. It’s in the quiet times we can hear from God the best. Lean in and listen, He’s always there!

I’m praying for all of you mama’s out there, in whatever stage you’re in now. Enjoy each moment but don’t be fearful. Each new day is a chance to trust God again.

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Empty Nest Part 1

That time God asked me to …
                                               Put down the idol of motherhood.

Maybe I missed all the discussions about empty nest before I headed into this new territory. Or could it be we simply don’t discuss it very much?

Since venturing into these new waters I’ve asked for advice but most people either just tell me to be happy about it or keep busy so I don’t have to deal with it.

Can I be real honest for a minute? I did NOT handle it real well in the beginning. My life had been filled with so many of my kids’ sports and events I felt completely isolated when it all came to end.

Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing husband who was always there for me but for several months I walked around in a bit of a fog. Not real sure of what my identity was anymore. Can you relate?

Yes, I’ll always be a mom but my job in that role had taken such a drastic turn I wasn’t sure what to do next.

So, how did I handle this new season of life?

I dove deep into writing and I do believe it helped me process a lot. But…writing can be very lonely. There is an amazing network of support out there in the cyber world but it’s different than face to face.

It’s a BIG switch from having kids who need you.

Trusting that God loves my sons even more than I do was a bit of lip service from me for years. I WANTED to believe it. I sure told myself I believed it. I’m sure I shared with others I believed it. It was just hard to completely believe it.

Seriously God, can’t you see how much I love my kids down here?
How could anyone, including God, love them as much as I do? They’re my life.

Oh crud, there it was!! God revealed to me some hard truth that wasn’t fun to hear but needed light brought to it. I had placed my role as a mother above my identity as a child of God. My kids were truly my life. Everything, including God, took a back seat to them. Ouch!

I don’t really remember when it happened but somehow it just slipped in quietly when I wasn’t looking. The martyrdom of motherhood.

I wasn’t one of those women who dreamed of being a mom growing up. There were no real plans to go down that road honestly. I had big plans for my life and men and children simply weren’t in those plans.
Want to hear God laugh…tell Him your plans!

Not only did I end up marrying and having kids, I did it fairly young. Shortly after getting married I was told I wouldn’t be able to have kids. So, when my role in life did shift I dove in headfirst.

My whole world was my little family. As they grew older and the time grew closer for them to leave the nest I held on even tighter. Fear settled in big time! Am I alone in this?

Often we don’t recognize fear and anxiety when we’re in the middle of it. We can feel twinges of panic and try to dismiss them as just part of life. How often do we try to rationalize our fears and worries away? Or just go through life with emotional blinders on in a futile attempt at not dealing with yet again another scary change.

Now that we have discussed the feelings as empty nest approaches, join me in the next post as we explore the different ways to make this transition easier.

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Friday, July 29, 2016

True Identity: Where are we finding ours?

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. Zechariah 4:10a
The fan clicked softly as it swirled away the stifling heat and humidity that had settled into little backwoods church. There was a strange familiarity in this place I’d never set foot before. Strings pulling me back to a time I’d never really known but yet my heart felt an instant connection.

We moved around so much when I was kid I never really felt like I had any roots. How can roots get a chance to go deep when they’re never allowed time to get past the surface?

How strange it was to feel roots coming up from this little rock walled church pulling me into a heritage I was still trying to figure out.

I sat trying not to move for fear of the pew creaking and giving away my giddiness over something I couldn’t truly explain.

The old familiar gospel music wafted me into a comfort I’d been missing for a while. Hearing my father’s soft, familiar voice at the pulpit of his childhood was the highlight of a trip to a home I’d never known.

As I sat listening intently to the message about God, not man or the world, defining our identity it hit me like a ton of bricks. Soft, gentle bricks though!

Never despise small beginnings!

My dad had spent so many of his formative years in this tiny building that brimmed with larger than life people. What the building lacked in sized it more than made up for in faith.

These people threw a pebble of faith into my dad and God multiplied the ripples more than anyone could have ever expected.

How could they have known? Could they see the generations to come that would be affected by their decision to arm my family with the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus?

No. The simple answer is no. But, nothing is small to our BIG God.
Those small beginnings don’t identify who I am as my identity is IN Christ but I never want to despise or look past those beginnings.

Your true identity is secure in your Heavenly Father, 
not your earthly father.

We must keep our eyes on Jesus and not let the enemy fill us with lies about our identity. We’re more than conquerors and already victorious through Christ. Operate from that victory, not towards it. Live out who and whose you are each day.

I’m so grateful for the people who invested their time and faith into my dad. They paved a way for generations to come!

I’m reminded today of how our earthly roots are nice to know but they will never define who you are as only God can do that! His Word tells us all we need to know about our true identity. Our roots can run deep and really settle in Him.

Let’s dig deep into His word this week and really come to know who God says we are and thank Him for that truth!

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Friday, July 8, 2016

Do you need to bring your self-discipline out?

I’ve been checked out and more than a bit out of it lately.

I took a scheduled break from writing in May and the first part of June as it’s our busiest time of the year on the ranch.

It’s amazing how quickly a discipline or habit we’ve had for quite a while can slip away when not exercised. I kept telling myself I was too busy to write and it would just have to wait.

The thing is though, the longer I waited to start back up the harder it became to start at all!

The excuses became easier and the discipline became harder. I kept telling myself I was too busy and it really didn’t matter that much anyway. To be honest, I was am struggling with the fear of failing.

What if it’s harder than I remembered? What if I was always fooling myself before and this wasn’t what God called me to do? Do I even have words left in me anymore?

Yikes, even typing those words I realize how much the enemy was feeding me lies. I simply got out of a habit and lost the discipline and the devil took full advantage of my doubts I voiced.

Have you ever been there? Fear of failure keeping you from exercising the self-discipline God has given us.

Speak against the lies of fear and timidity in the name of Jesus. Be brave in Him. Claim the spirit of power, love and self-discipline He freely gives.

That may look different for each of us and in each situation. Maybe it’s someone speaking truth into your life at the moment God has orchestrated. It could be the quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit reminding you of who and whose you really are! Maybe it’s simply making the next right choice.

I want to get back in the habit of writing what God lays on my heart to share. It takes discipline. You know what, it’s not easy. But…God created us for hard things.

I’m literally just putting one word down and then the next. I’m asking God to help me be brave. I’m giving him the little bit of bold I have right now and trusting Him to handle the rest.

He’s more than capable of taking the little bit of
self-discipline hidden deep inside us and bring it to its fullest.

(A little grace from you with my stumbling words on this first one back would be much appreciated as well.)

What area(s) of your life do you need put some self-discipline into action? Let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to pray with you!
I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Busy time of Year!

I’m so sorry I’ve been absent for the last couple of weeks. I haven’t fallen off the globe or been sucked into some kind of black hole. Well, I guess maybe, the black hole of lambing.

May is our busiest month of the year, like by a LOT. We’re finishing up calving, going to brandings and then throw in lambing out about 500 head of sheep in 3 -4 weeks too.

I promise I’ll be back with more regular blog posts in June but I just wanted to touch base quick.

Life is good. The weather has been outstanding for lambing. The ewes are in the best shape I’ve ever seen them in. Both of my sons are around to help and I couldn’t ask for better help.

Every year I think I’ve seen it all when it comes to sheep. Every year I’m reminded that’s simply not true. I keep my little notes app handy as I’m driving through pasture’s to record the lessons God teaches me through this amazing season. As a side note my talk to text feature on that app makes it quite a game to figure out what I really said from what it recorded!

Here’s a few picture’s from lambing so far. To see more of them regularly follow me on Instagram (@LauraAHicks) where I share more frequently.

God Bless!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Represent Who's We Are

It’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air. New baby calves are running and bucking with excitement. Lambing season is knocking at my door.

I’m blessed to train and use Border Collie’s to help with ranch work. They’re born with the desire and instinct to work livestock. We also select for dogs that are eager to work as a team with a person.

There’s nothing quite like working with a dog to accomplish a task. 

Communication is crucial. The more we work together the better we read each other.

Sheepdog trial season is just around the corner! It’s time for me to shake the cobwebs out of my dogs training. I want to be ready and have my dogs represent well.

In all honesty I really want them to be able to shine. I want our relationship and communication to be on point.

It's the same with how we represent God. I personally want my relationship and communication with God to be evident to those around me.

We can talk about how how we’re following Christ until we’re blue in the face but if our life doesn’t reflect it, we’re fooling ourselves.

My dogs, like us, aren't robots. They have free will and like us can make choices. Sometimes their choices aren't the best but when we work together the outcome is best.

The same goes in our relationship with the Lord. We have free will to make whatever choices. God does not call us to be robots, He wants us to come willingly.

When we are in a right standing relationship with God we are in continual communication with Him. 

The closer we are to the heart of the Father the more our choices will reflect our relationship with Him.

I want my life and my choices to reflect the love of Jesus.

The analogy of my dogs and me is not perfect because I am not perfect and neither are they. Fortunately for us, God IS perfect so we can trust Him all the time. Whereas I make mistakes in my relationship with the dogs and so do they.

I'm blessed that my dogs really desire to hear my voice most of the time. They lean in to listen and want to please me. Sometimes they believe they're right and I’m wrong. At that moment a correction is necessary.

The same can be said for us and we will need a correction to steer us back in the right direction.

God corrects us with love and mercy to get us back on the right track. How we respond to that merciful correction speaks to our trust in our loving Father.

Let’s lean in and keep our heart eager to hear to our Lord’s voice!

Ready to respond to the slightest whisper from Him. Submitting quickly when we’ve made a mistake and head the right direction.

In all we do and all we are, let’s represent Who’s we are!

I'm sharing this post with several other blogger's at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~