5 Tips to Guarding Our Hearts


If we are going to teach another to fight emotions that seem too powerful and deal with mood swings that try to take her peace away, we’ve got to first put this into practice ourselves.

Partnering with the Holy Spirit, we can follow these:

5 Tips to Guarding Our Hearts:

1) Be selective to what we listen to

Noise of all sorts surrounds us constantly: tv, radio, iPods, conversations. And while we might think they are no big deal, these sounds are in fact a very big deal. Our ears might be tuned out, but our hearts are constantly tuned in. Put in your ears and your heart.

Just last night, my older daughter decided to watch an old ’80’s movie; one I had not actually seen. But when I came in to see what she was watching, it just took the sound of the music to instantly transport me back to a dance floor my senior year of high school. A place I didn’t want to be!

A sentence or phrase, not matter how small, can be all our hearts need to get tugged to a place of vulnerability. We have to be on guard.

2) Be careful with social media

Again, you might think this is just a kid thing, but it is not! My husband just recently got a Facebook account (he avoided it until it was a company requirement). After “friending” him, my eyes slipped over to pictures of the many old friends from our high school. Again, memories pulled at my heart.

Our kids need to be selective with who they follow and what is read on social media…and so do we. Remember, the enemy doesn’t need an open door; just a tiny crack!

3)  Be choosy who you surround yourself with

It is so important to pay attention to who we spend time with and how much time we spend with them. Jesus invested in those whose’s hearts were empty and needed to know His love, but He also spent much time with His father and those who loved Him. Pour love on those in your life who have yet to know Jesus, but be intentional to have an inner circle of friends who are also pouring into you.

4) Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day

Recently, I found myself feeling a bit distant from God. When I looked at my life, I couldn’t spot any sin in the way; nothing stood out right away. Then I realized I had been “Bible snacking”. That’s what I call the days when I get in a quick reading and prayer before I plunge into a busy day.

We might be able to do that for a couple of days in a row, but when quick moments with God become too often our norm, our hearts can get worn down. And as I tell my girls, “When we’re down spiritually, it is really easy to get down emotionally as well.

5) Be sure to get enough sleep

Seem like a strange step for guarding your heart? I know in my life, when I am tired and worn out, all kinds of things can go wrong. I can make poor choices in what I eat, what I watch and toward whatever is easy. Being on guard requires energy and for that, we need to be caught up on our sleep!


His Revolutionary Love and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year help a young women their fill her hearts with the unconditional love of Jesus and empower them to guard their hearts.






  1. Anya Hintz says:

    I really feel that number 3 is the most important for me. I know that having the around me love and seek The Lord helps me significantly in my hunger for The Lord. I would love to win Raising a wiser daughter gift. I struggle frequently with leading my daughter and guiding her through her questions. I would love to have the words for her ever increasing curiosity about God and her spiritual journey.
    Thank you for your post. It was very timely for me.

  2. I needed this reminder today! I find myself all too often replaying the “tapes” in my head of my failures, past mistakes, awful things people have said (and I’ve said to myself) and allowing that to set my mood/the state of my heart. I need all of your suggestions! However, for me, I think being careful what I listen to/watch (1) and being intentional to spend time in the Word and prayer each day (4) are the 2 reminders I needed the most today. Thank you again, Lynn, for this great reminder.

    1. All of the suggestions are outstanding….and important. I have a choice as to what I listen to and what I watch. Songs get in my head and repeat themselves. Language from movies and songs penetrates my vocabulary. The choices I make in those areas define the personality that is pleasing to God or displeasing to God. Being careful what I listen to/watch may be the choices I face most often–and may be the most defining.

  3. I think the worst of the five for me and my daughter is social media. My 12 yr. old daughter does not have a phone or any social media accounts. However, her friends on a daily basis say she needs all to be socially accepted. I feel for her social media is dangerous and I can say this for myself as well, because I find myself being on FB a lot to see what is going on with our friends, family etc. I should just pick up the phone and catch up instead of resorting to what they might have posted. Trying to explain to my daughter that face to face socializing has many many benefits, as I type a FB message is so hypocritical. So # 2 is a big hang up for both of us. Me for using it and for her being pressured into getting a smart phone that has all of it.

  4. Amy Brothers says:

    I am learning that being choosy about who I spend time with (and teaching that to my children) is becoming very important. The part you wrote about “how much time we spend with them” is the one that is in tune with what God is revealing to me these days. I have noticed that my children act and speak differently after being with different friends. If my children have been spending time with friends who are showing kindness, making good choices, growing in their relationship with the Lord at church or through God’s Word or just generally being great kids, then my own children seem to act a little more like those friends. If they have been spending time with friends who are sarcastic, disrespectful, drawn to risky activities, or focused on the things of the world instead of the things of God, I can tell my kids have been with those friends. Surely they must notice the same things in me? So, we must all seek out friends who will build us up, continue to reach out to people in our circle who need to be built up, and limit the time we spend with people who have shown themselves to be a bad influence on our lives. It’s harder than it sounds!

  5. Kimani Vaughan says:

    Very timely post. As a mother of 3 daughters I am constantly grappling with the reality of building my daughters up to be great women who live God and who love life. Being careful what I listen to both around the girls and in private times has a huge impact on me as a role model and my children. The challenge becomes when I am not around. I pray constantly for our girls and even more for our teenaged daughter. She is very emotional and a people pleaser. I just want her to know that we love her and Gods got her back in every situation!

  6. Christina says:

    I think that number 3, being choosy with you surround yourself with is the most important for me. I used to spend a lot of time with this one person at my job and I really feel that she pulled me down both in my job and spiritually. She is a very negative person and I just got tired of it. Now I see her on occasion but I try not to spend a lot of time with her. Her negativity hurt my relationships and really just brought me down. I really hope I can teach my daughter this lesson.

  7. I think being intentional to pour God’s truth into my heart each and every day is the most important step for me right now. Not only is it beneficial for me, but when my children see me spending time reading my Bible in the morning it sets a great example for them.

  8. I agree with Bronda-1 & 4! I was surprised to see #5, but completely agree it is important too. It is really hard to be a good example and make thoughtful decisions when you are exhausted!

  9. For me, guarding what I listen to is the most important thing I can do. Much like you, my memories are closely tied to music from my youth and hearing songs from the eighties immediately takes me back there…to good and bad memories. I often have music playing in my mind throughout the day and I want be sure that the music my mind replays not only has a great beat 🙂 but also has lyrics that are uplifting and keeps my thoughts focused on God.

    Thanks for an awesome and practical devotional today!

  10. Great words of wisdom, thank you. I am challenged with #4 – intentionally putting God’s word in my life everyday and in the lives of my daughter. Thank you for reminding me to spread the word and live it to the best of my ability.

  11. Thank you so much for this wisdom and application of this truth. I think as of right now, The Lord has shown me I need to guard my heart with 2). Social media and 3.) choosing who I spend time with. With social media, I was allowing the enemy to get to me and the scripture Matthew 5:30 “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” was given and I deactivated my account. I would rather go to heaven with one arm! 🙂 thank you again!

  12. Of the 5 steps, #4 calls out to me. Oftentimes with the fast paced life of my family, I find myself on “autopilot” and in the express lane of daily living. I wonder how in the world am I supposed to spend time with my Father AND show my 2 daughters how to maintain that wonderful relationship with Him (girls are 9 and 5). Kids are like sponges and take in everything they see. When I am rushed, they know it. When I am uncertain, they know it. When they see me striving to think positive and include our Lord in our everyday conversation, they notice and want to learn more! I want to thank you for reminding me that in order to help my daughters develop their lifelong relationship with Christ, I first need to work on mine!

  13. Kate bentley says:

    My youngest is entering kindegarten this fall and I am a worried wreck! I think one of the most important lessons is who you surround yourself with! I have been diligently praying for a group of boys who will grow into young men together who love The Lord!!!

  14. Thank you Lynn for posting! All 5 tips speak to my heart and have all had an influence over my emotions at some stage or another. In our day and age where we run around with very full agendas (generally overfull) rest seems a treat for others and not for me, but I need to keep in mind that God designed rest for us, both physical and spiritual, a time to slow down and reconnect with Him and relax our bodies and minds. It is soo true that when I am tired I make so many more “bad” choices, am so much more vulnerable. Perhaps it does not seem such a “spiritual” tip but it is a very practical and less obvious one, one that does not come to mind easily as a possible solution to our current situation and one that the devil uses to great advantage over us! Thank you for sharing with us and for these very healthy reminders of how best to stay alert and help our loved ones do the same!!

  15. Thank you for the encouragement to teach my daughter how to stand against the enemy. Too often I attribute the emotional drama to hormones. The Word brings life and is the greatest weapon.

  16. Katherine S says:

    Thank you for this post. I am mom to 3 girls and we are dealing with some emotional stuff with the older 2 (10 and almost 9) as they learn to navigate socially and adjust to the physical changes starting. I know for myself, I definitely need to be aware of spending more time in the Word (4) and I can also see that that matters for my girls already as well.

  17. Kerri Murphy says:

    I tend to “Bible snack” too. Somedays, I just rush through my devotionals because I feel like I have so much else to do. Thank you for reminding me that I am too busy NOT to slow down to spend time in the word. As a momma to 4 (my oldest being a precious 15 yr old girl) I really want to win this!

    1. Kimani Vaughan says:

      I too am a Bible Snacker— I love the term by the way— This truly was a great reminder that the full meal of God’s word can make or break our response to the hectic days ahead. I’m working on it!

  18. I must be careful with what I allow thru social media. It is so easy to get caught up in it and waste valuable time.

  19. Exactly what I needed to hear today. I think I need to watch the social media aspect and I need more sleep! I can totally see that my guard is down when I’m tired but after a good nights sleep I’m much better.

  20. Thank you for the wonderful devotion this morning. As a mother of a pre-teen (very soon teen) girl this post really hit home. Getting enough sleep is HUGE and it is one of the two biggest areas we need to improve in. Hiding the word in our heart is the other. Thank you again for the encouragement and the renewed desired placed upon my heart to be more intentional in these areas. Blessings!

  21. Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day, is the step that is most important in dealing with life for young ladies and older ladies. I have two teenaged daughters and seeking Him on a daily basis is definitely the guidance we need to make the right decisions that are based on what we know instead of what we feel. Thank you, Lynn for laying these steps out in a concise easy to remember order.

  22. God’s word is what I need the most to be on guard. Too often I skim over it and don’t dive into it. Thank you for the post!

  23. Thanks for the reminder to stop rushing through the busyness of summer without first sitting at His feet and filling my mind with His Word. It is what speaks truth to my tired heart and sets my feet back on a firm foundation. I must be a daughter in His Word every day.

  24. Thank you! This is something I have been struggling with but often forget that we an enemy and is always looking for ways to attack. All of these reminders were much needed the one that spoke the loudest to me is number 4 filling our hearts with God’s love and truth. I was especially touched by the “Bible snacking” comment as I do this often. Thank you.

  25. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve really been struggling with some things that used to be so easy to face. I realized now that I’ve been bible snacking a lot lately. I think #4 is the most important – be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day. I have to remember that by doing this and being intentional about it, the other things will fall into place and the fight against the enemy will be much easier. Thank you for speaking the words my heart desperately needed to hear!!!

  26. What a great post! I think#4 & #5 are probably the most relevant at this point in my life. Great reminder to get into His Word daily. ..and not just for a snack. 🙂

  27. I don’t really know how to begin, so I’ll just jump right in. I’ve been the Baby Sitter/ Grandmother for 2 Adoreable children since birth. I’ve always tried to guide them with direction of God’s love & how important HE is to how things play out in our lives. Now they are both Teens & my strongest desire is to be sure my granddaughter understands & begins to draw closer to Our Heavenly Father. She has love from both parents but not close to her Mom & not very much help with Spiritual growth at all ( if any)! I ask that you & your team please pray for us on this issue. And if it be Almighty GOD’s will that she will listen to my words of encouragement & at some point before it’s too late she will realize how real & important the decision she made a few years back… To follow JESUS was the Best & Most Important Decision of her Life!! She is 13yrs. Now so I think she is able to understand! Thank you so much for what you do in Serving Our Savior!!! GOD Bless & Prayers ALWAYS, G Scott

  28. This blog was very timely. I can relate to all 5 but today whatbstood out to me was #4……being intentional about my time witg God. I know when I spend regular time with The Almighty I cam withstand things that come my way be it the job, my children the traffic or whatever! Spending time with God alwyas always helps me gaurd my mind (which often plays tricks on me). As women we have sooooo mannnnnny emotins. Its almost immposible to function w/o reminders of Chtist and his power! Thanks for today’s blog..it was much needed!

  29. Charon Pinard says:

    WOW! God is good! My niece, who lives thousands of mile away from us, just visited us for 2 weeks. I am so concerned for her and her fragile state. I have been asking God, how I could best mentor her with such a distance between us. Perhaps reading Raising a Wiser Daughter, is just the thing I need to have a positive impact on her.

    #4 speaks to me the loudest. It is too easy to read a Daily Devotion, and think I have done enough to protect myself from this world, when more time with God and my Bible is really the answer.

    Thank you!

  30. Consuella says:

    This was on time today, I felt like this message was just for me. I have been dealing with a situation that is clearly the work of the enemy and while I was quick to recognize and acknowledge that fact (and thus guard my responses) the other party involved was not and seemed determined to continue/escalate the conflict at all costs and social media was her platform. I recognized the situation for what it was and as a result the enemy tried to get to. me another way by whispering you know what you would have said/done back in the day you should get her, you should let her have it! I’m thankful that I have learned to recognize the enemy in most situations and that vengeance belongs to The Lord. It would have been so easy to say what the enemy had put on my heart. But I would have felt better for all of 30 seconds before being convicted. Therefore, for me #4, being intentional about spending time with The Lord each day is most important to me so that my heart is guarded and I can constantly remember His truths. #5 is a close second, I’m always up late no matter how hard I try to go to bed at night but there are certain things I know I can cut out or save until the end of the day would allow me to be more productive and get to. Ed at a decent hour. Be blessed!

  31. I think they are all important but you have to pay attention to what you are watching and hearing. As a family, we often get strange looks when we tell others we do not watch main stream tv. If we do watch the occasional show, it is Andy Griffith, Little House. We don’t have cable or satellite. We do have netflix. I am really not fond of Disney movies, & in fact my daughter has not seen most of them. Our rule is we will give a show/movie 3 chances for things we consider inappropriate, once it hits 3, we shut it off! Thank You! Enjoyed your post! Will be following you on Pinterest!

  32. Great post and reminder that we do live in a fallen world with a battle going on daily! All of the tips were good and the essential sleep one is true. When we really take care of our needs, we are better equipped and less vulnerable. My favorite, though, is number four. I agree that it is so important to stay close to God and in His word. Keeping God as our focus and praying with him throughout the day helps me to recognize those negative thoughts and usually move away from them. God is good and faithful! The teenage years are so hard for girls and doesn’t it seem like it is even harder than when we grew up? Thank you, again, for your post!

  33. karen miller says:

    I truly believe you need to be choosy with who you surround yourself with. I hope I teach my 13 year old daughter to do the same.

  34. These are all important safeguards but the social media one stands out for me. It is way too easy for people to say things they would never say if they were standing face to face or for the written word to be misunderstood because it is out of context or you don’t know the mood that person was in when they made that comment (were they being sarcastic or flat out mean). It’s just way to easy to be sucked in to drama that isn’t yours or drama that never was/should have been. Thanks!

  35. A few months ago, I decided to fast from my favorite public radio station, because I had become obsessed with listening to it during every spare minute of the day. The fast was so good for me that I have not been able to listen to it since! My heart, which used to be focused on, and depressed by, all those juicy news stories, is now more focused on prayer with God and on my family.

  36. Thank you for your challenge and encouragement today. For me, the Bible “snacking” and lack of sleep go hand in hand leaving me vulnerable to attack! It was important for me to be reminded of that today.

  37. Being intentional about spending time in God’s word and truths is so important. It is the foundation to our day, the rock on which we stand!

  38. Oh wow! they are all great reasons! But the one I relate to is 4 Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each day! I do find myself struggling with this at times. Life can be so busy especially having a farm business where in spring and fall we work from dawn til dusk and sometimes even after. So shortcuts are very appealing. And as you pointed out it affects my relationship with God. Your devotion was and is very encouraging to me! It made me think and realize this. I do belive nothing happens by chance and God put this email in my box to wake me up. In the past my family was tared and feathered at a previous church for trying to reach out. That broke my bubble on Pastors and churches. I guess I thought they were perfect I knew I had to find another and keep going or I might never go back. I had found one and there were ladies there to welcome me every Sunday and that love was awesome! But when I am not in God’s word I pick up that cross and when something happens I go back to those memories. Forgiving is the easy part but forgetting is hard. Your article really helped me and I want to pass that on to my daughters and grandchildren. Thank you !

  39. Good morning, I recently found you through a wonderful Christian friend. She is a young mom of 3, and she lets me be “grandma” to her kids. I want to thank you for your gentle guidance every day. I’m struggling with helping my daughter in law raise 6 children, 3 girls and 3 boys. My son was incarcerated in November 2013 and this has been a terribly hard time for all of us. I believe the point I need to concentrate on is #2, social media! I’ve allowed that to become my escape but it’s so full of negativity , that I find myself feeling worse about everything after spending time there. I too have been reading my Bible in little spurts, and that’s what I need to be giving my energy to.
    Thank you for helping light the path!
    Debbie Mears Storm

  40. Two things stuck out to me. The first is “Bible snacking”. I’m also guilty of this, although i didn’t know what to call it 😉 The second is who you surround yourself with. This is a tough lesson I’m currently working on with my daughter. Thanks for the encouragement!

  41. Heather Dasilva says:

    3) Be choosy who you surround yourself with

    I have 3 children. My oldest, girl, is turning 12. I can’t tell you how many times that I have reminded my children to be selective on who they choose to be their friends. It is so important.

  42. Number 5…. Get enough sleep is something I’ve been feeling the need to do for some time now. I have rationalized my current patterns by looking at how I felt, how I was running, what I was getting accomplished, and telling myself I was just fine. Over time the wear will show, so I am taking what I read here today as yet another reminder from the Lord to mind my rest. I will obey, with help! Making the change now is important in order to prepare for another school year at home, to help my oldest as she dips her toes into the waters of social media, and most importantly, to be able to wake up in time to commune with the Lord each morning before the day begins. No “snacking” for me! Thank you for a good kick in the pants!

  43. As I look over the list, its hard to pick which one because they all have their place in importance. I would like to teach all of them to my daughters and for myself.
    Thank you for the devotional.

  44. What a breath of fresh air! I love how you labeled “quick” devotions as “bible snacking”! I will def remember that! All five things seem of utmost important in a girls life, but if there is one thing I want my daughter to ensure she does is pouring into God and receiving His word on a daily basis. My daughter is in her Tweens and very emotional! As Julie mentioned, I often attribute it to hormones, which I am sure play a part, but how important to remember we are in a battle. I want her to be able to recall Gods word at any moment during both the good and the tough moments no matter what. Thank you! I enjoyed this very much!

  45. April Madison says:

    Hello! I am the mother of two teenage girls, and it can be hard sometimes to communicate with them when someone breaks their heart. I was a teenage parent, and I can understand what they go through. The thing is just to get the words to come out right. I offer God to them everyday, I tell them to pray about everything. I try to monitor what they listen to and what they are doing on social media, but sometimes keeping up get hard. This is why I do my best to instill the Word of God in them. I don’t want them to follow the same path I did. The message you have given is really a help to me. I enjoyed it and it seems as if you were speaking directly to me. Thanks

  46. The Bible snacking is a big one for me. I’ll do well for a little while, then things get busy or I get too distracted that I’ll sacrifice quality Bible and prayer time for the sake of trying to catch up, which by the way, I never do catch up. Especially as I get to a point of spiritual starvation and fatigue. And, let’s face it, living life without our “daily bread” is exhausting. Not taking the time to be still and “listen” to The Lord can leave more than a ” crack in the door” for Satan to slink his way in to many aspects of our day. Thanks so much for this post. I originally read it on the Proverbs 31 site, and am so glad that I came over to your blog to read your 5 tips. While my daughter is only a “tween” right now, there are already opportunities coming up where she needs guidance as she approaches her teen years, and I’m already finding it necessary to prepare for providing that guidance, love, and understanding now.

  47. Number 4 “Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day” is the most important to me. Too often I get so wrapped on in what is going on around me that I forget to turn to God.

  48. With summer here and 3 extra people in our home right now, it is number 4 that made a huge impact on me today! I know I am being too quick when it comes to my special time with Him! Thank you for the reminder!!!

  49. Lynn – Thank you for sharing this! This has truly been a blessing to my early morning start. As a mom who has recently taken a leap of faith by leaving my career to invest in my children’s lives by becoming a stay at home mom, I have become even more aware of the fact that I need to “Be intentional to pour God’s truth into my heart each and every day.” As a stay at home mom, I have become even more aware of my need to take a stand against the devil’s schemes. If I don’t fill myself with the Lord’s truth each day, it is so much easier for me to feel defeated in my daily tasks, or to get irritated by silly things. If I am not filling myself up, it is hard for me to face all the tasks of the day with a positive attitude. Just like a car cannot run without gas, a stay at home mom (or any woman for that matter…) cannot go through her day without the truth of Jesus pushing her forward. If I want to invest in my daughter and son’s hearts the way I intended to when I chose to become a stay at home mom, I must focus on the truth of Jesus each day, and I have found that my days (even the ones filled with unexpected or trying events) are much eaiser to walk through when I start my day with His word.

  50. #5 was the most encouraging. Our summer has been full of family visiting from out of town. We have had a wonderful time, but we are deprived of sleep, healthy eating, and our daily bread. I am so thankful for your devotion. It truly is the Lord loving us and calling us to rest and refresh. It reminds me of Elijah! 🙂 1 Kings 19….I am going to read it now! 🙂

  51. Donna Arjes says:

    They are all so very important but the hardest one to get my children to understand is “who you surround yourself with. Sometimes kids don’t see what we parents see when it comes to their friends. My kids tend to see our guidance and suggestions of who they surround themselves with as being “judgement”. I spend a lot of time in prayer for my kids and that is probably one of my biggest request is Lord help them choose wisely those they see as friends and place a hedge of protection around them. This is an awesome blog and I’m so glad I have found it.

  52. All 5 are great reminders for me, but as a mom # 4 and 5 are what I need to remember. I have 3 teenagers in my house and it is busy. It is very easy to fall into snacking instead of well balanced “meals”. And the busy also leads to a lack of sleep. A great reminder to fuel the soul.

  53. Sarah Brubaker says:

    God snacking. Too many times I dont think I have time but truth is I dont have time to not read!!!

  54. The last 3 are some main ones for me. Being tired and staying in Gods word is a definite, if not rested and in his words my minds wonders to all kind of anxietious thoughts. Thank you for your debotionals I love each and every one.

  55. Thank you for the encouragement today! I find the the most important is time in the Word each day. Setting that example as I teach them to do the same. Listening to K-Love has been great as well, they like pop music, so to have upbeat music with a positive message playing, even though they many not realize it, the words soak in rather than any other questionable lyrics!

  56. danielle h says:

    #4 is most needed for me! I can sense a big difference on the days I am not in the Word. Arming myself with scripture and being continually filled with His Word is so crucial!

  57. Cyndi Hernandez says:

    #3….. be choosy who you surround yourself with. This is something I wish I myself would have done from the beginning. I chose the wrong company which ultimately led me down the wrong path but at the same time I’m grateful because it opened my eyes and led me to want to become closer with our God and his word.

  58. Erin L. Thiele says:

    For me, I need my sleep. My husband and I have always gone to bed and woken up at the same time. But he’s more of a night owl. Climbing into bed at 11 is taking its toll on me for sure. With two littles, I find my nerves are so much more easily frayed when I’m running on little sleep. Then I’m more vulnerable to the flood of guilt and failure that accompanies my less than stellar parenting.

  59. 4) Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day.
    This would be my number one but I see some if the other points that are not far behind. Thank you for sharing this great info.

  60. Thank you greatly for this article! I am in this very place at the moment. I believe they are each very important and vital to stand up against the enemy. If i had to give the most important, I would say being intentional placing and knowing God’s truth in your heart. If you seek God first then all else will eventually fall into place. You will want to hang out with the right people and you will be well equipped when you’re not around Christian friends. I believe you must first learn the truth and believe it, so that in times of turmoil you have something lean on.

  61. Actually, I think you have to guard your heart in all of those areas. They all go hand in hand. But, when I was at church this past Sunday, I realized I hadn’t been in church the month of June, I had been “snacking” and all I had been talking about was the bad stuff that was going on in my life, surrounding myself with people who would listen to me gripe…I was feeling very depressed, angry and doubting God and couldn’t really figure out why. Funny, God always has a way of getting my attention, this time by a very simple message my pastor preached, completely off the cuff, the message he shared was not the one he originally prepared to preach, it was one God put on his heart the day before.
    Hmm, coincidence? I think not. I was not in church by chance this week, God knew I would be there and He used my pastor to get through to me what He had been trying to tell me for 3 weeks. LOL.
    Love God when He does that sort of thing. And, it has changed my disposition, I am hoping my 12 yr & 18 yr old will see that and want more of it too. 🙂

  62. michelle r says:

    Wow! Dealing with some things this morning and then I read the devotional, God is all about intentional, nothing left to accident! For me, 3 and 4 are probably the 2 most important, though all are excellent and this will be a reminder to me. I need to surround myself with godly friends and make sure I’m spending time with Him! Thanks for the encouragement this morning, winning would be a bonus to share with my girls!

  63. Sherry Lewis says:

    It was neat reading your blog. The first 3 steps I have been trying to emphasize more to my young teens and get them to realize how important they are. We have been working on doing a “sweet 16” time that everyone does on their own. It is 5 minutes worship, 5 minutes Bible time, 6 minutes in prayer. I have noticed a better response in my emotions when I keep in the word. So, I think for me the hardest on is #5 because I think I can get away with staying up late and no one will notice.

  64. #4 Being intentional about being in God’s word is where I ten to slip and it’s where I most need to be consistent in order to guard my heart. Thank you for the insight and encouragement this morning!

  65. “Be choosy who you surround yourself with”. This is such a good one. It can be hard to choose the people to hang around with when you are young and looking for acceptance.

  66. #4 and #5 – “Bible snacking” is easy to do – but it just doesn’t satisfy like a “meal” does. And, sleep – although it is a priority for me, it has been hard this summer to get enough to truly feel rested. Three teens in the house – need I say more?

  67. I need to guard my heart and guide my daughter to guard hers against too much social media. I waste too much time and it can sometimes really bring my mood down. We must be very aware of its effects on us.i really enjoyed your post!

  68. All resound; however, number 4 hit home. I’ve been so overwhelmed of late that I haven’t dealt well with my emotions and moods. If her parent cant “deal with it”, how can my precious daughter deal with the enslaught of moods and emotions she experiences every day? My spiritual well is dry – proof positive of the link to my anxiety and panic attacks.

  69. Victoria Adekanmbi says:

    Number 3 is what really struck me because I have come to realize that those whose circle we are in make a great influence in our lives either positively or negative. Recently I read in the book of Proverbs 22:24-25 that we should not make friends with a hot tempered person because we become influenced and get into a snare, and so it is for other characters as well. A lot of positive people that came into my life recently has made my life take a drastic change for good.

  70. What a great reminder to hide God’s Word in my heart daily with a “meal” and not a “snack!”

  71. I feel that there is way more importance to #4 than we realize. Gods words are the ones that have the power to transform. Why don’t we put more importance on them? My daughter has been struggling recently, and I gave her life’s greatest gift by arming her with words. God’s words, on index cards, that are sharper than a two edged sword. They pierce right through her problem and encourage her where it matters most. In her heart. Most importantly, they force the enemy into surrender. She is learning to fight, in the battlefield of her mind, at a very young age, but because of the tools God is equipping her with, her faith is growing. She is 11. Wonderful list. Thank you for writing it!

  72. Number 4 and 5 are both what I need to work on! I’m having a really difficult time right now finding the time to do both of these things. Unfortunately, I am doing neither very well.

  73. All of these are so important. In a world that is driven by social media, it is so difficult not to get caught up in it. Also, it is so important to be intentional about putting God’s word first in our lives. Thank you for these reminders!

  74. Ami Baxter says:

    #4…Such a great reminder to not “Bible Snack”(what a great & catchy term) was a truly blessing to my heart. As a mom of young girls, constantly I feel God tugging at my heart bringing me to not just want to be a good mom, but a role model for my girls…which is sometimes completely overwhelming. Thanks for the quick & easy tips & mentoring!

  75. All of these are important, but I think you can handle things better and make good decisions when you get enough rest! I need to remember this myself! Thank you for the reminders, good advice for all of us to follow!!

  76. .Mary Weiss says:

    I really need to follow all!
    I know that when my life gets crazy busy and I don’t spend intentional time with The Father I tend to lose control of my emotions. Then I throw the door wide open and allow Satan control. I am always sorry and upset with myself afterward. I need to learn to walk away, open my Bible and hear the voice of God stronger than the voice of the enemy.

  77. I think it is very important who you surround yourself with. You need to have good friends, followers of Jesus who will speak truth into your life and lift you up. To be able to do that for others is very important also. It will make you feel so much more needed and valuable to be able to lift up your friends just as they lift you up. My granddaughter is finding this out the hard way and I am trying to be there for her and teach her the path to follow – even though it may be a harder path – it is worth the extra work. There is so much joy in following Jesus and learning more about our Awesome God.

  78. I think number 4 is a biggie — it’s important to fill my heart, and my daughters’ hearts, with God’s love and encouragement. By making this a habit, we make His voice louder than the other voices.

  79. Christina H says:

    Hi, I would love to read these resources. Sleep is probably the one I need to be aware of for myself and my daughter.

  80. They’re all very important, but right now #2 was the one that I needed to be reminded of!! Thank you for them all!!

  81. Lisa Soutar says:

    I am a grandmother of three girls and one boy. I want to be a godly influence in their lives and try to be there for them as much as possible. I think we all struggle with the influence of media (1) and what we watch and I try to stress to my girls just that, one of them especially struggles with this. I try to be a good example. Their parents are a bit lax in that area. Also (5) I try to stress how very important it is to be in the word every day. They are elementary age and are little sponges needing spiritual guidance.I pray for their salvation and spiritual growth and would love to help them grow and live for the Lord.

  82. Wow! Thank you, Lynn, for each one of these tips for guarding our hearts. For me #4, “be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day,” is most important. Being in God’s word every day is so important to staying close to Him. Something I’ve recently started doing before I read His word, is say a very short, but powerful prayer and ask God to give me a heart to receive the message He would have me hear from my reading of His word. I believe this is helping me be more intentional about my time with Him, and it’s not just a “to-do” to check off my daily list.

  83. All 5 speak to me- I am ashamed to admit it, but I don’t spend enough time with my daughter talking about what gifts God has for her and how important she is to Him. The decisions she makes now depend on how well I do my job in reminding her that God is, and always will be, the most important person in her life- Thanks for the reminder and I will be working on all 5!

  84. # 3 is the most important. Surround yourself with godly people! I’m more tempted to stray from God when I’m with those who do not share His heart.

  85. Christina says:

    #4. I love the term “Bible snacking” I have been doing that and thought it was enough, but I’m realizing it isn’t enough, I am desiring a good “Bible Breakfast”:) thanks for sharing

  86. I don’t think one is more important than another, rather they go hand-in-hand. As you wrote today, we must be on guard as the very real enemy will use any and all of these to work against us. He wants our flesh to fail and for himself to get every small victory he can so we will believe His lies. So it’s been important each day to have people in your life that will speak the truth, share the gospel, point out the lies you are believing. It’s important not to believe all that you see and hear on social media. That is a tool the enemy is using in powerful ways today to plant seeds of doubt, tell lies, deceive our minds for his purpose. We must remember that guilt and shame are not from God. It’s also have important to be in the word, reminding yourself of the truth and promises of God. We must be active in growing our faith and knowledge of the Word and of who God is. Knowing His character helps us put on His armor to fight against the enemy. The enemy is cunning and manipulative and ready to come between you and the Lord at any crack we leave open. Be on alert! He is real and he is everywhere….But so is our Savior!!

  87. Bernadette says:

    Hi Lynn,
    I truly enjoy your posts. You always provide practical advice, and a ‘game plan’. Thank you! Please pray for me as I reflect on the summer so far I can see where the devil has been working on those cracks in my own foundation! Everyone(dh, 2 teenage sons and a teenage daughter) is out of the house so I’m going to have some quiet time with the Lord!
    Thanks again! Also does any one have a recommendation for a good devotional for college aged young men?

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Bernadette – I am so glad you like the posts and find them helpful. Off the top of my head, I don’t know of a devotional for boys. You might try Focus on the Family or Family Life Today.

  88. Wow! I like 3 and 4. 4 probably resonates with me the most. Staying in Gods word and feeding on it is essential to being able withstand the enemy! And I think it makes the other steps easier and all the more important. Thanks for your post about this 🙂

  89. Thank you for these tips! I’m going to say number 4 too, because knowing God’s truth and being intentionally saturated in the Word daily is going to influence all other aspects of life ie. what we listen to, how much time we spend on social media, the friends we keep… I need my mind to be transformed by God’s truth, although I’ve been a christian for most of my life, the devil has bombarded me with lies. It’s time to be alert and guard my heart and mind! No matter who we are, we can never have enough of God’s Words they are LIFE to us!!

  90. #4…it is vitally important to hide God’s word in my heart daily. This fills me with his truth so that I can recognize the lies of the enemy!

  91. Most of all #4 & 3 – we recently moved to a new city, which meant new people that I don’t know (our neighborhood is only of about 3 families), new church and it seems I’m always busy and get not bits of time with God. I need Him so much and I pray He stays by my side and don’t let me slip away.

    1. Hey Rosa, I moved almost 20 mos ago, new country, new neighborhood (culture shock), new church, new school. God has been so faithful as I have stepped out to trust His leading. I pray you will trust Him with leading you thru this new journey. You really will see His faithfulness.

      1. Hi Dottie, thank you for your words! I so needed to hear this reassurance. This is the second time for us now and it’s never easy, but I do believe faith and His grace will pull us thru….blessings to you!

  92. Oh, how important in guarding our hearts and minds from the enemy. You mentioned rest, that is one that recently was robbing me and making me vulnerable. So thankful for the Holy Spirit reminding me what was happening. These are all great reminders, and reminders to share with my 15 y.o. Thank you.

    1. Melissa K. says:

      I love that you used the term “vulnerable.” Yep, streched too thin we become weal and we are easily punctured…like blowing bubble gum.

  93. Thanks for this post today! I really appreciated this reminder – we’ve got two teenagers. For myself, I would say the big one is intentionally spending time with God and in His Word every day. I agree with you … a few days of “snacking” and I can feel my defenses weakening! My heart needs that time with the Lord every day. Thanks again!

  94. I would have to say being more conscious of social media. After taking a facebook fast, I came back to hide many nice/friendly people. I chose to do this because whenever I would see some of their posts, I would be consumed in one of two comparison games: either comparing myself to them and feeling like I wasn’t good enough or comparing myself to them and feeling like I was so much better. What I had learned from my facebook fast is that I missed the connection with my closest friends and my family but not my long-lost connections.

  95. miss Jami says:

    Of course all 5 tips are very important to put into practice of our daily lives. But for me? Right now, in my stage of growth and learning, its tip number 4.*Being intentional to pour God’s word and truth into into myself each and everyday.
    As I do so, recognizing Satan’s schemes, tricks, and traps become powerless over me!
    After all, the only way Satan has any control over me, is IF I believe his lie(s).

  96. Sleep! I know that when I’m lacking sleep my ability to stand against satan is lacking! I’m so much quicker to get discouraged and frustrated when I’m weary. I had never made that connection with my battle with satan before but it makes perfect sense!

  97. I have a pretty good grasp on #1, especially in regards to music. However, it took me a while to get there. I am a musician, and music has always been a heavy influence on me. As a teen, I didn’t seem to notice lyrics, yet I did not listen to anything particularly bad. Over time though, God has made me more sensitive to the message instead of just the beat or instruments. I see how my elementary students do not understand how or why to do that yet, and my teen daughter, also a musician, is beginning on the path to letting God work in her heart to be mindful of what she hears. I pray that she allows God to work quicker in her life to realize the power of that influence so that she will allow Him to change and strengthen her as only He can and to experience His deep and unfailing love for her.

    Thank you for this post. It was a timely answer to prayer in that even though I am pretty good with # 1, I struggle with comparing myself with others because of social media and with getting enough sleep.

    Thanks again and God bless!

  98. Christine says:

    I think #4 is the most important right now for me. Intentionally seeking God’s truth about me and understanding his outstanding love for me and my daughter helps us realize when the devil is attacking our thought life and getting us to agree with him instead of God.

  99. Melissa Brewer says:

    I feel spending time in God’s Word is the most important for me and my 14 year old daughter. I pray everyday that God gives me the wisdom to raise children that want to serve Him. I’ve been trying to teach my daughter to read and pray everyday. Thank you for your encouragement!

  100. Kerry Ann says:

    I would love to read and share these resources. Sleep is probably the one I need to be aware of for myself. I can absolutely relat ethat I slip towards things that are wrong when I am lacking in this area. Food choices, the “easy way out’ of things, etc.

  101. #5 relates to me. I know if I do not get enough sleep my patience wears THIN.

  102. Heidi Miller says:

    The “snacking” with God is what hit me most. I find that I’m the summer with the kids all home, it is what I tend do do more. I need to be more in the word to handle the stresses of the day. Thanks for the encouragement!

  103. Thank you so much for sharing this! I think for me the attraction of social media can be a trap. It’s important for me to be on guard in all these areas, but far too many times those awful feelings surface just in seeing pics, a post or the words of a “friend”. Recognizing them as traps is certainly a huge part of being on guard.

  104. I feel #3 really speaks to me: being careful with social media. How many of us have felt discouraged or unworthy after seeing everyone else’s “perfect” life, house, kids or vacation? I have to remind myself these tools are highlight reels and not let the enemy black my sight of God’s perfect love for me.

  105. Tammi Carter says:

    Being intentional about how much time I’m spending in His word. I am very guilty of just “snacking” in this busy day-to-day life. Time to schedule Him in!

  106. I think God wanted to tell me “Be choosy who you surround yourself with” today! Thank you for sharing!!

  107. Thank you so much for this post today! I often forget that we have a greater enemy, Satan. He is out to get us on a daily basis and we need to guard our hearts. I need to not be “bible snacking” and pour God’s truth into my heart daily! (I love the phrase by the way!) Also, social media is a big thing for me…sometimes I get so caught up in it that I forget to just call and speak with someone rather than see what is posted and feelings get hurt in the process. Thanks for the reminders!

  108. This could not have came at a better time for me to read. My 15yo daughter is struggling immensely with some past mistakes and can’t seem to let them go because there are constant reminders in songs, videos, facebook, social media etc. These reminders are just sometimes in the form of pictures of old friends. My heart has been crying out to God for her and I have been seeking his will for what I can do in this situation. She wants to immerses herself in social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and I want to guard her heart and mind. All of these points are so important but for me spending time in God’s word daily is most important. It is so easy to get off track or be in a rush. Thank you for all of these reminders!

  109. I’ve been guilty of “bible snacking”. Things just don’t feel right when I skip being immersed in God’s word. I need to be mindful that He needs to be first in my life because all else depends on Him!

  110. Number 4 makes a deep impression on my life. I need the daily and lengthy time with God to renew my mind and heart. Satan attacks constantly and the more time I spend with God the more equipped I am to not allow Satan to take control of any part of my lif.

  111. Spending time in The Word, number four, speaks to my heart. When I awake, the Lord is on my mind, but when I get up intent on studying, the “to do” list takes over. I realize that seeking Him through His Word and prayer is the only thing that will guide me with regard to how to prioritize the time that I have to be His hands and feet to the people He places in my path.Truly, I have nothing to give unless I am filled with His love and wisdom.

  112. Becky Holmes says:

    This can be so tough….but over all of the struggles, I think the continuation to be in His word and surround ourselves with Him daily is the ultimate foundation for all the other things we can do? Love this!!

  113. Aimee McGough says:

    What an AMAZING devotional…I really needed to read this today.
    All to often we get caught up in the daily swarm of technology and our busy lives…
    We Try to be faithful you our God…but we fail…and if we are honest about it…and evaluate our own situations, I bet we can all see that when we don’t give 100% to The Lord, the devil steps in!! Like you said, the devil doesn’t need an open door, he needs a crack!
    Lord, I pray that you will work on me… Help me be strong and know that YOU,Lord, are the one and only….You, Lord, are the answer! Please help me help my children to become stronger…let me help them, Dear Lord, to know the truth and not stray from that truth.. Please help me guide them in your way dear Lord!!!! I want them to be confident in YOU, dear Lord…..AMEN!!!

  114. Oh how important it is to continually read up. I am like so many others, I start a devotion series our a bible study and after a few sessions I allow life to get in the way. I always tell myself “you can miss one day and make it up tomorrow” but tomorrow never comes. Then comes the guilt when I find the guide or a market falls out of my bible from the study I didn’t finish. How can we give our children, husbands, our others Godly counsel of we do not study His truths? This has been on my heart and your blog has confirmed what I needed to do. These are scary times and we need to be prepared so we can help our families be prepared also.

  115. Number 4, ” “When we’re down spiritually, it is really easy to get down emotionally as well.” I tend to forget this.

  116. I would say other than spending time with God, choosing who you spend your time with is extremely important. It never changes, no matter who old you are. Thanks for the giveaway.

  117. This was such a timely post for me! I have found myself to be moody lately and see it in my girls, too. Upon reflection and prayer, I realized that I am spiritually dry……..tired from poor quality sleep and, most importantly, not spending quality time in God’s Word or in prayer. I, too, struggle with the negative messages that cycle in my head about my worth and job as a wife and mother. I see the same attitudes beginning to creep into my beautiful girls, and it grieves me. Just this morning, after having another irritable moment, I realized what I was doing (Thank you, Lord!) and decided to turn my attention to some devotionals and God’s Word. Honestly, I think all 5 of the steps Lynn mentioned are SO VERY important, but, if I had to choose one as being most important, it would be spending time alone with God. My prayer is that I will stop this destructive cycle and help guide my precious girls into the right path and a healthy, strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. ……..Thank you, Lynn!

  118. The concept of “Bible Snacking” really hit home with me. I have a set of two yr old twins and a 4 month old, all girls, and work full-time outside of the home. I have been wrestling with craving out time to spend time with God during this season of my life. I cannot do everything and I don’t try to. Being a woman who is following after God is the one thing I desire and need. I have been talking to mothers past this season and they all struggled with this too. Basically, I am looking for a filling meal between a granola bar and Thanksgiving dinner Any suggestions?

  119. #2 not realizing until reading this today how the enemy uses social media to bring me down. We really do have to gaurd our selves with Gods truth daily. The enemy definitely uses just a little crack to try to destroy us. I also notice my 11yr old staying with emotional issues now. I don’t know how to deal with it, I think because my mother never really addressed any of those things with me as a young girl. Now as an adult I have had to learn how to not live by emotions and really rely on the Lord. Definitely not easy. God is so very good. Thank you for all your encouragement from proverbs 31 Ministries. It has really helped me through some really hard times.

  120. #4 is the most important for me! I love your term “bible Snacking”. Perfect term for what happens to me on occasion. If all I do is “snack” on God’s word I never really fill “full”. :). Thank you!

  121. Being intentional about pouring God’s word into my heart every day–this one fits for my life right now. I do lots of “Bible snacking.” But if I want to be “full” so that I can pour out God’s truth and love to my family, I need more than snacks. Thank you!

  122. I really believe all are so very important, however #4 I know is a vital one…if we don’t keep filled up with God’s truth, how can we accomplish the others 🙂

  123. I would say #5 resonates with me, when I’m not rested and I’m worn out and tired, my fleshy side is exposed and I tend to “forget” the truths found in The Word and I gravitate towards the first three that you listed. The enemy knows I’m tired and all sorts of lies come through the music, social media and even my friends that I hang around, because my heart and mind are not guarded, they are just functioning because they are without rest.

  124. I need sleep! Without it I can become cranky and bitter in no time.

  125. Stephanie says:

    Definitely number 4. I am a busy mom of 4 kids, and I struggle daily to find the time to spend with God. Ashamed as I am to say that, I just never seem to have enough hours in the day to get things done. I know God needs to be the most important thing in my life, and I know the days would go so much easier if I was starting my day out with Him, but I definitely “Bible snack” each and every day. Something I really need to work on! Thank you for your blogs! I am really enjoying them!!

  126. I have been “Bible snacking” for too long. Busyness fills most of my days – Satan finds more and more things to entice me away from God, who will truly satisfy my heart. The Proverbs 31devotional emails have greatly helped me to start each day with God, then a quick chapter in my Bible and I’m off to face the day. Better prepared, but not best prepared. I need a sit-down meal with God, not a snack, so that I am protected from Satan’s schemes for me.

  127. Spending time with God….you can’t recognize and reject the lies if you don’t know the truth.

  128. I have to be very mindful of my quiet time and time with God. We are currently doing the bible study “40 Days in the Word” so it is forcing me to be accountable but with traveling and vacations and such. Summer is a very hard time to do this.

  129. Being choosy about who you surround yourself with is so important! I have friends from college that I still see sometimes, who are outside my group of friends I am normally filled up with. I notice that after I spend time with them, I’m much less on guard about EVERYTHING! I still want to see them, but I really need to be on guard when I am around them!

  130. All very good points. Being intentional and consistent is what I need. I would like to win the set for my granddaughter.

  131. Melissa K. says:

    Getting enough sleep! I learned early in life that I needed my sleep…no exceptions. I didn’t realize why until I started burnig the candle at both ends with newborn twins, returning to work, going to college…I was in a downward spiral trying to hold everything together yet always feeling like I was coming up short. When I don’t get enough sleep, my perspective gets warped and every little thing that doesn’t go my way gets magnified. My emotions run wild and I lash out at my family. I make irrational decisions. Sleep helps me manage the incredible outpour of self that I am required by God daily. I can’t fulfill His purpose if I’m a wreck.

  132. I think all 5 of these are great points, but probably social media is the number one thing for my family right now. Recently my daughter got way in over her head using instagram and we have decided to take a break from it for the rest of the summer. I am always telling her how important it is to guard her heart. Thank you for these wonderful tips today!
    Kathy K

  133. I must be more choosy who i surround myself with. I realized recently that certain people in my life were not good influences and were dragging me back into a past i did not want to repeat. i have started spending more time with my godly friends and mentors and its amazing how much clearer my mind is without all that clutter and drama. I have discussed this decision with my 12 yr old daughter.. i hope she sees the improvement in me and will remember that this decision was the best one. I am a single mom .. my daughter and i are trying to figure things out together 🙂 So far, I haven’t been the best example, but i’m a work in progress and everyday is better than the one before. God bless!

  134. For me the most important is 4) Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day

    I get so busy in the day to day grind that I am often a “snacker.” When I am intentional with my time with God and with my Bible I “feel” the difference in every part of my life. I need to make time for this everyday.

  135. Lory Wood says:

    Getting enough sleep is always my problem. I’m a planner, so turning off my mind at night is difficult. It does make a difference, especially after several nights in a row.

  136. Jennifer R says:

    Being intentional about spending time with the Lord every day. I was just thinking during my time this morning that it’s amazing how much more patient I am with everything when I’ve begun my day with the Lord. Being more patient is the one thing recently that I’ve really asked Him to convict my heart about. And guess what? As I’m sitting with Hm each day, it’s working! Giving my day to my heavenly Father makes me feel so much more in control than trying to do it all myself.

  137. Aneliese Hight says:

    I think the being choosy with who you surround yourself with is the most important for me. I have learned this the hard way over the years. And I hope to show my girls the same thing!

  138. I like to keep my daughter grounded in the word of God. That to me is the most important. Thank you so much for this today. I look forward to sharing this with my daughter today.

  139. Leslie Lee says:

    I think that all if these tips are very important! If I had to pick one I would go with #1. I have a 13 almost 14 year old daughter, and just yesterday we were chatting about things we listen to. I quoted the little song we sang in Sunday school as a child “Oh be careful little ears what you hear, for the father up above is looking down in love.” She gave me the “whatever mom” look, and I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me, you have to say something. A quick prayer and I said,”You know honey that the things we hear aren’t always from music, friends, TV, social media, boys, or family, sometimes we hear things from ourselves as a result of where we are at in life. the best things we can hear are through God’s word. If we aren’t spending time there and listening to good things we (you and I) will both not feel the fullness of God’s love towards us.” She stopped and just looked at me. “Mom, really?” “Yes, really, I want you to hear I love you from God, I want you to be filled with confidence through Him, everything you “hear” has an impact on you, some good/some bad, so let’s make sure we both take time to hear what God has to say about us!”

    Great timing ! I love them all!! Have a great day!

  140. Thank you for your post. We are always telling our children to guard what they let into their eyes, ears, minds, and hearts. These are all great ways to help us stay on guard, but for me, number 4 and 5 seem to be the most important and the ones I need the most. They are probably the ones I neglect the most, too, unfortunately. My oldest daughter is getting ready to enter the teen years and has so many questions and things she just doesn’t understand. We talk often about her decisions and how she has to be careful and guard herself. I’m always looking for resources to use to help her (and me!) through these coming years! So glad I found you on Proverbs 31 this morning!

  141. nancys1128 says:

    Given the five steps you shared, my choice was almost a no-brainer. I need more sleep! Lots more, actually. I try to kid myself that four to five hours a night is enough, but it isn’t. It may be for one day, but over the course of the week it does take its toll. I also try to convince myself that sleeping in on Saturday makes up for not getting enough during the week. Again, not true. I need to go to bed earlier. Period! No more claiming I need the quiet time after everyone else is in bed. While that may be true to some point, I’m sure that 20 to 30 minutes would be just as good as the two to three hours I tend to take. And so as not to give the wrong idea, that I’m actually being productive during this time, I have to admit it’s time wasted watching television. And very often, simply dozing with the television on.

  142. I think being intentional with pouring God’s truth into my soul is the most important. I do well for awhile, and then get to a drought – literally a drought. I’m also guilty of spiritual snacking, which as Lynn mentioned, is ok for a day or two, but not regular meals. As a matter of fact, my life hit a big road bump this week as a result. Thank you for the tips of how to guard our hearts – they are all wonderful!! The gift pack would be a wonderful gift for my daughter, who is now raising 2 girls.

  143. Jennifer Douglass says:

    4) Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day

    This is the step that I believe it is probably my favorite – and very important. We know that the devil is NOT going to rest one single day. So we must be diligent and intentional in combating any influence that he will bring with the Word. This is an absolute in guarding our hearts!

  144. Wow! All of these points hit home with me. I’ve just begun “quiet time” with God. I know it’s something I’ve been lacking and it has hurt me in many ways. So, I need to build this discipline into my life and spend my time. I also need to spend more time with those who believe, how I’d love my “church friends” to just be my friends. Thank you for this devotional and these 5 tips. My daughter is just 13 and I’ve got a lot of learning AND teaching to do.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      So glad they helped, Sue! Stay close to your girl in the years ahead. Even if she acts like she doesn’t, she really needs you!

  145. At this point in my life, and this stage of parenting, pouring the love of God into my life is the most important. My early upbringing was spent absolutely steeped in the Word. .. in church, an constant contact with other believers. But then for more than 20 years I lost that connection that I had felt with the Lord. And although I have regained it, I work hard every day to fill the pieces missing in me so that I can be sure that I am leading my child on a Christ like path by my example. I am mostly afraid that I will fail, but I’ve found that when I pray for guidance instead of just throwing my hands up and convincing myself that I’m terrible at all of this – that God gives me peace, and a nudge in the right direction.

  146. For me it is #4. I am the mother of 4 children ranging from 4 months up to 8 years old. I often find myself so busy and worn out that I don’t feel like I have time to do what I know I need to do. Pray, Read my Bible, and seek God more fervently. I notice when I don’t spend time with God that is when I struggle the most. I don’t have as much of a peace about the situations and circumstances going on around me. That’s when fear and doubt creep in. I don’t hear God’s voice clearly if I am not being obedient and faithful to Him and His Word.

  147. Watching what goes into my ears was the most important to me!
    I can so often be carried away by that certain song, or those certain words & believe “it was a better time” or “what if???” It Swnds me into an emotional tornado!

    Also, social media! It’s so easy to get wrapped up In comparison, that breeds discontentment or feeling rejected based on what you see. Or searching for people that god removed from your life for a reason.

    My daughter is 2 yrs old and I want to be the example of Christ she longs to follow. I want to teach her that her beauty & worth come from being made in His image & being the bride of Jesus. Not from what tv or social media tell her she should be. I know I have to learn these lessons myself before I can pass them on to her.

  148. BJ Gardner says:

    Definitely #4 for me!! I love the “bible snacking” reference! That is perfect to describe where I’m at in my spiritual walk with God. I feel I just snack on His word before I start my day then wonder why things get so crazy!! Thank you for ALL of the steps, we MUST follow each one to keep our hearts and minds clear and guarded.

  149. First, I’m so glad I’ve found your blog. I have two daughters one is my bio and one is my adopted, both close to the same age. You blog post on Proverbs 31 hit home…oh how I have been in the same place and watch them go from happy to sad so quickly. As a youth leader and parent of four teens, #3 is most important to me. This dynamic of who we hang out with truly influences our decisions on social media, how we interact with our family and what we believe to be Truth. Although as a Mom, sleep comes in a close 2nd!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Hi Sally, I’m glad we’ve connected! I hope you find this place as a source of encouragement for you as you continue to invest in your kids and others children too! Be sure to sign up to get my posts regularly so you don’t miss one 🙂

  150. It was really hard to choose just one; but I chose #1 because it really pertains to our family. I agree that music can be both good and bad. All four of us love music!!! And I was reminded of the precious little children’s song that says “……..be careful little ears what you hear…..” I’m constantly trying to be on top of what my kids are listening to, but it’s really hard to listen to everything. And as you said, satan only needs a small crack and he will slither his way in. Thank you for all that you shared, I loved it all!

  151. Good morning, I am a new member to your blog, I just love this article.. I have been having a heavy heart about how to deal with my grandaughter , she is 13, a middle child, her parents are divorced, and her father doesn’t want to be involved in her life… anyway, that being said I like number 3 and number 4… I am a christian, but I have a hard time conveying my thoughts to my grandaughter, I think this book and cd’s would be a good way to convey what my thoughts are….and hopefully change her life….thank you!!
    God Bless , Martha

    1. Lynn Cowell says:


      What an amazing woman you are! I hope you will find encouragement here on this journey of raising your granddaughter. This is a hard season, but God is faithful!

      Just read this yesterday, “…your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.” Psalm 110:3 So thankful!

  152. They are all so important and a timely reminder for me. Intentionally pouring God into the lives of my children resonates most profoundly with me because I think then the rest will follow. There is so much out there for our kids today. We really need to be intentional in all areas but again seeking God and pouring Him intentionally into my kids is key for me. Thanks for the great reminders. Having guidelines and following through is so important.

  153. Wendy Hunter says:

    Number 4 is the most important to me. Spending time with God helps me in the areas of numbers 1,2, & 3. It hasn’t helped me much with number 5 yet. I don’t know if I will ever get enough sleep while raising my three teenage/tween girls. 🙂 Thank you for this great reminder today. What a great devotional!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Wendy, I hear you on the sleep. When you get a text at 2:00 a.m. from your daughter asking why the kitchen smells bad…well, let’s just say that is a sleep interruptor!

  154. Thank you so much! Although ALL of the 5 are important, I know that number 4 is the most important for me. I have been struggling spiritually for some time and it just hit me that I am not consistently in HIs word. I have daughters that are watching everything I do…I want them to be able to guard their hearts against the enemy. Blessings…

  155. Being intentional about pouring God’s word into my heart has been the lesson God has been working on in my life. I too had been “snacking” on God’s word, but recently He has challenged me to turn off the evening tv and spend hours with him instead. It has been wonderful!

  156. So hard to choose just ONE, as I believe the steps are interrelated. Personally, for me, it’s a combination of 3 and 4 mostly but where my 12 year old daughter is concerned, it’s all of the above, especially in this day and age of social media. The statement made that all the devil needs to slip in is a crack, not necessarily a wide open door – really hit home for me – and reinforced why all the steps mentioned are important – even getting enough sleep. ..the devil is always lurking!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      I should put in my post, I got most of these from my 17 year old! She is in the thick of it every day and figure who would know more than her 🙂

  157. I think number 4 is most important to me. Spending time with my God always helps me to be stronger. I often Bible snack too and I can tell the difference.

  158. They all speak to me but if I have to chose one, it would be #4. I forget to read my bible, so I will just read a devotion right away and Thank Him for the day and all my blessings. But I have two beautiful daughters and my 22 year old, who is not married but has been with her boyfriend for 5 years just told me this morning that she is pregnant. My other daughter is 18. So I need guidance on this really fast.

  159. Be careful with social media. That is something I have to be careful with. The enemy sure can use that to make me feel like I am not doing enough, that’s for sure.

  160. I feel #4 would be the most important for me (all being important). Filling my heart and soul with the love of God everyday, before anything else can creep into my heart is essential.

  161. Lisa Peterson says:

    What a timely post! My teenage daughter just experienced her first break-up with a boy – a very nice Christian boy, no less – and while he was as gentlemanly as possible, the news came at the worst possible time, as it had been a tough week already for her. My heart has been aching for her, and your post helped me remember to put things into perspective for her. The enemy is indeed at work, and only God can help her stand against him.

    I believe that point #4 is the crucial point; all the others revolve around the need to pour God’s loving truths into our hearts and lives daily; it must be THE priority of the day, and the others will follow. Starting the day with a healthy dose of His Word will enable us to be girded against the enemy’s attacks.

    Thank you for this relevant post! (I’d love to win the gift pack to help my daughter!).

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Lisa…you can only guess I wrote today’s devotion after the exact same situation here!

  162. Michelle Robertson says:

    This post was so very timely for me as well as so many. I am a single mom of 4 daughters and one of my daughters is going through such a dark time right now. I find myself just desperate to help her and today was the first day I have been to your blog and it was such a blessing. It was hard for me to decide between 2 and 3 because both are such a struggle for her (and myself) but decided on #2 Be careful with social media. It can be such a great tool but it also can be such a huge source for evil. The statement “the enemy doesn’t need an open door just a crack” is so very true. I have to say #3 was a close second because who we surround ourselves with is so important as well.

    Thank you for your post and I look forward to reading more.

    Michelle R

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Hi Michelle, as moms we can really use each other’s encouragement! I hope you’ll sign up for my posts and find a community of moms partnering with God to raise wiser daughters! By Him “…your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.” Psalm 110:3

  163. I feel like numbers one and two are of equal importance in today’s technology saturated world. This things have been a huge challenge with our 15 year old.

  164. I would have to say that all 5 of these steps are very important to me. and a great reminder of gods love for my children. I cant say that only one is important. they are all important to teaching our children gods mercy and love and forgiveness and understanding what lies ahead of them to achieve their goals in life. and to make sure what i myself teach them in regards to achieve that goal. the music i listen to the books i read the television shows i watch. the sleep i get (if any) lol the people i hang around. the devotions and church attendance. all of these are necessary to achieve gods works in order for them. to be all god wants and expects them to be in this days society. thank you for the reminder of these important steps we need to continue to show our children and the values of keeping them and myself on this track. God Bless all.

  165. Pouring God’s truth into my heart every day resonates most with me. The negative messages in my head can easily take over and I forget how precious, loved and adored I am by Jesus!

  166. All are important, but for me time in God’s word is the most valuable. This summer has been stressful and there have been many days and times when God answered and comforted me through His word. I have had the most wonderful time with God this summer. More time with God means less time doing some of the other things.

  167. For me, SLEEP is my issue. I struggle with it. I know it affects me and how I respond to people and circumstances around me. I’m working on it but it’s a slow process

  168. The social media one is one I am already keeping a close eye on, its so new for this generation something I didn’t have to deal with at their age and even though my kids are still preteen, I already see the effects of it on the kids in their age groups and use some of the lessons other have had to learn the “hard way” to show my kids how easy it is for those things to seep into your life and have devastating results.

  169. Karen Edge says:

    This post today is addressed to me, directly from God!! The tip that resonated most with me is “social media.” Without going into details, I have been on a six month journey with my 24 year old son in jail due to a crime related to social media. While this has been going on, and continues, I have taken into my home a 17 year old young girl who was left homeless when her father got arrested for child abuse. My “daughter” I am now raising just accepted The Lord three months ago. She is a wonderful young lady and she knows all about my son’s journey. I am teaching her about the dangers of social media and the internet. She sees what happened to our family, so she is learning very quickly. However, she was one of my students (I teach reading at an alternative high school). We’ve talked about how the other young ladies, and young men, are engaging in very risky behaviors on social media. I fear for all of them after experiencing what my son is dealing with. It was an innocent situation at the start, and turned criminal by the end. I see my 16-20 year old students doing the same thing! I want to be an advocate for teens.

  170. No. 4 – Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart. I have two grown sons and grateful that they have a relationship with Jesus and now have a teenage niece that is a struggle that is such a difficult and different scenario.

  171. Number 4 struck the reality of my last year and a half; along with today’s devotional about not seeing what you see. As of January 14, 2013, I am now permanent guardian of my half sister’s PTSD (one of 4 diagnosis) 3 year old daughter and 20month old non verbal son who now has a speech therapist and an occupational therapist to help with his sensory processing disorder. Her now 5 year old, I brought her home from the hospital at 2 days old. I am 54 and now a full time stay at home mom for the first time in my life. All this after raising my son and helping with my wonderful grandson who is now a college student still trying to find his footing. After much prayer and the will of God being confirmed several times over, I am more comfortable in my new role. However, I found myself Bible snacking because of the early mornings and late nights (due to my husband’s truck driving schedule or lack thereof). I loved my devotions as an empty nester for years and indulged myself in studying and praying and using the lexicons to breakdown every passage that seemed to jump out at me. The names that gave the text a new dimensional meaning; bringing even more insight and revelation! Now my days of even meeting a friend for coffee seemed a thing of the past with therapy, behavior coaches, menus and grocery shopping, physicals and dental appointments, etc…..those days were long gone. As of July 7 I am no longer emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry at quiet/naptime! I am once again indulging myself at the feet of Jesus. I get my Bible, journal, pen and reading glasses and I sit quietly anticipating Holy Spirit to draw near. I pour out my adoration and my gratitude and I allow myself to feel and to be filled with hope anew!!!! I have yet to be stood up, but rather His Word and His presence has comforted me gently and faithfully, yet forcefully to dispel feats and doubts!!! All praise to God!!! Yes, Bible snacking is what it is, but it cannot substitute for the worship necessary to fight a good fight!!!!!

  172. My temper comes out when I am overtired, so number 5 rings so true for me. If I have had poor sleep, I easily get frustrated with my family, friends, circumstances, you name it. All I need is a spark and then the TNT it ready to blow! Thankfully, I have God’s grace and a wonderful husband to help me get better at this every day.

  173. Jennifer M. says:

    Exactly what I needed to hear today! I can especially relate to number one right now… I am going to be selective about what I listen to, and while I am trying to tune out a lot of other things, focus on tuning in to God.

  174. Nakesha R. says:

    The most pressing step I need to focus on now is the one about social media. I have four daughters 3 of which are teenagers. I am working on this very subject with all four of them. Your blog is not only informative but also encouraging.

  175. Stephenie says:

    So difficult to choose only one, but at my current season, I would say getting enough sleep is huge. When I am rested I am more alert to the other tips shared. Thank you so much for sharing a great devotional and blog post!

  176. Wow! Finding your devotional today was a real blessing!
    I believe that spending time with God praying and reading His word is the most important step for me. I find that when I intentionally sit down and just have my Jesus Time, my whole day goes better, and I am able to bless those around me. I also make it a point to just sit and listen to what God has to say to me!
    You can’t really do this without taking the time and not rushing!
    You have to intentionally do this as often as possible, if not daily. I am still working on this!

    I recently was diagnosed with cancer, and this has been a time for me to learn and grow my faith in God. I realize that we have no guarantees on this earth, but we have God’s love and care of us. This is the most important! I want my 14 year old daughter to be equipped with His word so that she will truly have a heart for God and know Him personally, not just on the surface. I want to be an example for my daughter. God is helping me be strong through my cancer, but I know she is struggling with it.

    I have been looking for a good devotional book for her and for me to share and discuss.
    At this age, so many teens are resistant to actually sitting down and reading God’s words or
    reading devotionals. This is a devotional that I believe she would read because it’s targeted to her personally!

    Keep writing and may God bless your family and ministry!

  177. Definitely #4! Love the term “Bible snacking.” This is an area I really need to work on. Also, although I am very careful what I look at on social media, I do tend to set a bad example by looking at it too often. I have 4 girls, so I would love this gift.

  178. This blog and the proverbs 31 email for today was exactl what I needed to hear today. Thank you for being obedient with your gift. I think all five suggestions are great reminders. For my current situation the one about surrounding yourself with the right people hits straight to my heart. Thank you for this reminder!

  179. Thank you for the reminder. This is also good truth for young men!! The younger generation I’ve found seems to think a song is only a song and s tv show is juat a show. ..doesn’t affect them. It affects us all no matrer our age.

  180. Sister in Christ says:

    I think they are all great. For me instilling daily truths into my daughter and myself and also getting enough sleep. I often don’t get enough sleep, so I am easily flustered. Also, I always tell my daughter I love her, but never thought to tell her how much God loves her. How can I forget such an important piece oftruth. Thank you for your suggestions.

  181. Kristin Robinson says:

    “Bible Snacking” is a good way to put it and pouring His truth into my day/heart/life/family is what I want to work on.

  182. I think number 4, intentionally pouring Gods word into our hearts is some of the most powerful advice that a believer can live by. Spending time with God, in prayer and a banking on the truths from his love letter to us can reshape our perspective entirely each and every day. As a coach, I often tell my athletes to be intentional, be deliberate. God was very intentional and he created us. This was such a great read, such a good reminder to be purposeful in each and every day.

  183. Choosing you surround yourself is most important to me! I am trying so hard to show and tell my 15 year old daughter that now. We are really struggling in this area especially with young men!! I am praying for her and those she insists on being around. I really could use some extra guidance in this area as I feel I am struggling and failing as a mom. Her father and I are divorced so talking to him is not an option…. Her stepfather is a little harsh at times. Please any help would be most appreciated!

  184. Melanie Dailey says:

    It was hard to pick, they are all very good and important points. I decided that number 2 was important for me, just from thinking back to my teenage years. The drama that went on in the hallways at school for me now happens every moment of the day on social media for these young girls. You begin to question your self worth and that is when the Devil can get a foothold. It reminds me of the old Sunday School song “Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes What You See”.

  185. I think being intentional is spending time in God’s word…I need to make sure that I’m setting a good example for my teenage girls. They need to see how important it is, not only hear.

  186. I feel the one that stood out to me is, being distracted by social media. I have recently removed myself from Facebook. I was so easily distracted from the things of this world. I wasn’t connecting to my word and prayer life like I should. My daughter is 13 and she doesn’t have any social media connection right now. My husband and I are trying to help her through this tough age by teaching her who she is in Jesus. It’s not easy, I find when she sees me focusing on the things of God, she will know he comes first. Thank you, for these words, it was right on time for me and God is always has perfect timing! 🙂

  187. I feel both 2 and 3 are important. My daughter has a facebook page that I try to monitor but I know things slip through. There is too much negativity on these pages. I find myself caught up in things that make me angry or resentful, so much so that I have “unfollowed” people when I don’t like what they have to say. So much hurt and bullying is done through these social media sites, and the only way to stop it is to delete the accounts.

  188. Thank you so much for the great reminder in today’s devotion. Each of the 5 areas are key to staying alert to the enemy. Personally for me I feel that number 4 is key! I find myself doing the others when I have done 4. I also had never considered number 5 and the effect that could have on guarding my heart but it is so true! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  189. Nichole Carter says:

    I believe that number 4, pouring God into your heart intentionally is the most important. Years ago when I decided to read the bible each day before I leave for work, it changed my life. God knows what we have been through, what we are going through and what we will go through. With those daily devotions God speaks to me about the thing that is utmost on my mind daily. It helps me to walk through my day with God. I am still saying wow when God talks to me about something that simply crossed my mind when I was in the bathroom or something. If we put God in our lives and realize His sovereign power as we walk and obey his word, we will live successful lives!

  190. Hmmm…..I have to choose just one. I need to be more intentional with my time with God!

  191. Thank you so much for your post today, it really touched me. I consistently struggle with getting enough sleep which leads to#4 very quickly and I then find I’m using not getting enough rest as my excuse. I need rest more in God’s word so it comes more readily as my daughter struggles with all 5 points. Satan is around every corner disguised as all of our weaknesses waiting to devour all of us. I have 1 Peter 5:8 posted everywhere that I spend time on a daily basis becasue it is so important to be aware of.

  192. Sherri Y. says:

    In my season of life with having little ones, sometimes it seems impossible to have both 4 & 5 at the same time 🙂 Yet , I know that’s when I feel the best and am better able to handle whatever my day brings.

  193. All are great reminders of what we need to do to stay on task with our continued spiritual growth. However, the most important important of the five for me and my family would have to be the fourth. With God’s truth in our heart we can conquer any weapon that the devil throws our way. Reminders of God’s truth is everything to me. Jesus left the best examples for us to follow, if we just stay in the word, keep it close to our hearts then we can fight these spiritual battles that always surround us. Thank You for your words of wisdom that I believe came to me from God as my 18 yr old daughter and myself are in a battle at this very moment that I know God is going to get us thru. I try to remember that Satan’s Target is our mind. His weapon is lies, and his purpose is to make us ignorant of God’s will. Our defense will always be “The Inspired Word of God!” Thanks Again!!

  194. The one that I want to be most important is being more intentional to pour God’s truth into my heart each and every day – I get “busy” with life and spend more time meal planning, doing household chores, getting meals ready than I do spending time in the word and my relationships with my husband and kids are not what I want them to be as a result.

  195. I believe number 4 is my main area not that I dont need to work on all areas but sometimes I think as long as I get that “snack” in then im good. However, i realize that my day and spiritual life is just running on empty just as your physical body would if you didn’t nourish it. I need to make it mandatory to feed my soul with the word.

  196. For my 13 y/o it is definitely surrounding oneself with the right kind of friends. She doesn’t actually have a BFF, more acquaintances. She doesn’t want to “judge” her friends yet I’m trying to shoe her the importance of using discernment in making friend choices. It’s hard.

  197. I will say they all have given me a insight on what I need to work on. Number 4 is the one I need to work on the most. Leading by example is theist important and if my heart is not filled with God’s word and intention I cannot let his light shine through me!

  198. Encouraging and convicting at same time. Love it ,

  199. patty Danna says:

    Number 4 is the one i need the most. I constantly need to remind myself of God’s truths, no matter the circumstance. When i rely on God’s truths i can usually deal with what the enemy throws at me. Gods Word is so powerful.

  200. maria gloria says:

    Getting enough sleep, if i dont get it i feel worn out all day!

  201. I agree with getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep is like opening the door to a stranger that is not welcome. At times feeling a bit helpless to the tiredness, which then turns into giving yourself permission to behave, say, react in ways that you might not normally do. Put on the armor ladies, which includes giving yourself the gift of a good nights sleep!

  202. Number 4 is the most important and the most difficult for me. I tend to rely on quick daily devotionals to get my fill of the Word. I’m not taking the time to really settle in and absorb what God is trying to reveal to me.

  203. I definetely agree with sorrounding yourself with positive people, those who are in the same “wave length” as i call it,. I pray everyday that both my children follow this advice. It will infuence your life. As a teenager i thought everyone was kind and meant well, today as an adult my circle of friends are few. As parents we need to guide our children to make wise decisions, but those decisions include sorrrounding your life with those who love you, and want to see you succeed.

  204. Erin Gathright says:

    Thank you so much for these! They’re all so very important. It’s hard to pick one. I feel though that one of my biggest challenges is getting enough sleep! In our fast paced society we tend to neglect this one especially as moms. Taking care of our bodies physically has a big impact on our emotions.

  205. I think for me and my daughter number 5 is the key. If we don’t have enough sleep we are emotional and unfocused all day. That alone brings down out guard and smarts. Great post!!!

  206. I can’t choose just one. Everytime I get slack in just one of these areas I see the door crack open. Teaching my daughter these things is the hard part. Showing her that taking the steps to avoid unwanted visits from devil make life just a little bit easier. But at the same time it is hard to choose to act and live differently than the so called norm

  207. Number 4 is huge for me, followed closely by #5. I NEED to read God’s word every single day and to spend more than 30 seconds asking God to bless the food or thanking him for my day with my children. I also need to get my schedule more under control and allow for more sleep so I can be on a more even keel and be more available emotionally rather than perpetually exhausted. Thanks for sharing this post. I look forward to reading more.

  208. Ellen Young says:

    All great points. #1 and #4 stand out to me today. All five are so important for our daughters. #5 seems to be a big issue for teens these days. Thanks for your encouragement!

  209. All 5 of the tips listed are valuable and shouldn’t their importance shouldn’t be under estimated. But I believe making sure we are in the Word daily is extremely important. It equips us in ways we’re not even aware of and transforms us to be all we can be in Him. Great post!

  210. Probably one of the worst for me is social media. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what other people are posting, pictures they are sharing, etc. It is easy to compare your circumstances to theirs and let it steal your joy! I have to remember that Satan uses social media to take our focus away from God!

  211. Debbi Ring-Westbury says:

    The first one spoke volumes to me. Be careful to what you listen too and guard a vulnerable heart. I know you were referring to music but my issue is other peoples words or definitions of who they think I am or who I should be. How I allow them to define me and control my thoughts actions and feelings. BLAH!!! The heart is very vulnerable and it should be with our Lord and with trusted people but when I am swayed to and fro by everyone’s opinions of who they think I am then I am on shaky ground, sinking ground. Fears flare up and people pleasing sneaks in, then i retreat and isolate. BLAH!!! The other voice i need to stop listening too is my own, it can be pretty condemning, critical and unforgiving. Trying to fire myself in my own mind. 😉 The devil is crafty and sneaky, he will use anyone, including ourselves if we are not alert. I am under construction and changing my foundation for I stand tall on the R O C K! Thank you for your words of encouragement. xoxo I am glad I found your page. I have been looking for a devotional that I can do with my daughters so I don’t pass down this old nature garbage, to give them a stronger better foundation build on Christ.

  212. I think number 4 is huge for me right now. As I begin to work outside the home again and life is WAY too busy. My alone time with the Lord is severely lacking. When I start my day intentionally alone with the Lord it makes a huge difference. Lately its just been popcorn prayers as I find myself stressed. Which leads into #5…lack of sleep. I feel the two go hand in hand. When I’m up late and not getting my rest my alone time with God suffers. Its a vicious cycle for me and my kids. No one can focus well and live intentionally without the rest we need, not only in bed but also resting in our loving Father’s arms.

  213. I feel that being intentional to pour God’s truth into my heart each and every day is most important to me. It is so easy to just “snack” on God’s Word during this busy season of life. When I do, though, problems and heartache soon follow. Thank you for your articles and your inspiration!

  214. I think that it’s SO important to be around people that lift you up instead of bring you down. When I am around spiritual, positive people life is just better. I stay positive and that keeps my wall my stronger to block out the devil. I will say that #5 is so important too. Charles Stanley always says that Christians’ judgements are more likely to be skewed when they are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (H.A.L.T.). We are in a weakened state and more likely to make bad decisions.

  215. #4 Hit me between the eyes – been “snacking” for a while and just feel empty. I NEED His Word in me more than I know, and I need to be filled with His milk and meat to be truly satisfied. Thank you for being open to His words and being willing to share them with us!

  216. My daughter turns 12 tomorrow, and reading this post came at an important time for us. Spending more time in God’s word is especially important right now as I lean on God, the perfect Counselor, to guide me through the trials that are sure to come her way. I pray that God will help me to protect her tender heart and teach her that He loves her just the way she is!

  217. Thank you, Lynn, for these “affirmations” ! We have been guiding our children & cautioning them in these areas for several yrs. now. Our son (now 18) rebelled & has chosen his own way – including totally cutting off all contact w/ us. Our daughter (14) has been the opposite – THANK YOU, LORD!!! We often feel very alone in our decisions, including tv, movie & music choices, but know that we, as parents, need to abide by the same guidelines! ALL of your “alerts” are very important, but I guess #3 would be my hot button. I remember the day 6 yrs. ago my son got in the car from spending a day w/ some friends – Christians, & also Homeschooled , I might add. He announced that “A.J.” said, “Boy, your parents sure are strict.” They were each 12 at the time. Our son began to question every decision & choice we made. Little did we know the coming yrs. would result in such a shattering of all our lives! God’s word is the only thing that truly ministers to our hearts. ( It gives me my breath each day! ) We pray that our daughter will continue to be “iron sharpening iron” to her friends & that they will be to her as well! Bless you, Lynn, for your ministry & your heart to share HIS wisdom with those of us who are navigating this journey of parenting – prayerfully to the glory of our Savior!

    1. #1, at least when it comes to my 13 yr old daughter (I mostly listen to KLove in the car). She has 2 grown sisters, so she has started listening to more mainstream since she is hanging with them more. While their insight to the world of teen drama is more current than mine, and the relationship with her sisters very vital at this stage, she is starting to listen more to the music I would prefer her not to listen to. I love that her innocence at this point makes her unaware to the underlying meaning in some of the lyrics, she has always love to dance and says she just loves the beat of some of the songs. I try to show her some of the songs of my generation that still have playtime, without all the swear words and innuendos… that I don”t understand the need for that stuff in this generations music in order to sell music. I know I can’t protect her forever, so for now I just try to balance it out with “good” music when she is with me. I know from my older 2 that forbidding it only leads to them being deceptive. I have exposed the meaning of some of the lyrics at times, leading her to choose to not listen to those particular songs after. Satan is very sneaky in how he tries to lead our youth astray, is he not???

  218. #4. I stuff my day too often with important events, but they leave very little room for alone time with God. I too start making poor decisions and less patient. The problem with that is my girls and nonbelievers are watching. I can tell my girls are learning this trait from me and it saddens me greatly.

  219. Jazmin L. says:

    This was such a fitting devotional and tips list. I know my girl is learning from watching me and yet it’s such a struggle to be a good, godly example! I know my biggest area of struggle is the music I listen to. I love listening to music; I put it on as soon as I wake up in the morning and leave it on all day. I try to put on christian music but sometimes am tempted to listen to something “less boring”. Ugh! I hope I win the kit/pack! I really need it! Thanks for the chance!

  220. Jennifer Davis says:

    I think 3 & 4 are pretty equally important for me. I have found that I have to be selective with the people I choose to let in my day to day life. It is amazing how quickly bad attitudes and negativity can take over a relationship, and I have found on that same token if Im not pouring the word in my own life that I become the negative influence. I am trying so hard to be the Godly influence that my daughter can mimic, but its a struggle day to day. I don’t know how people navigate this world without Jesus!!!!!

  221. Thank you Lynn, I joined your blog after reading P31 Post.. The timing is amazing for me.. I am going through a couple rough patches with the kiddos and am so Thankful for all the affirmations God is putting in my life right now. The steps that reach out to me are #4 and #5.. I am a lot like you and do not handle little sleep well.. Blessings for a wonderful week, Brandy

  222. Cecilia Garza says:

    #3 be choosy who you surround yourself with!!
    This is important for me because it’s been easy to allow others to dictate my emotions.
    It’s also important to share with my daughter. If you are able to choose who you spend time with choose wisely! Sometimes we don’t have that choice and we have to make the best of it; however, we should be on guard for the devil always finds ways to prey on us and our children! The books for my daughter would be perfect! She needs them!

  223. “Be choosy who you surround yourself with” is critical to us all. We need to be conscious that who we choose to spend our time with influences our choices, and that is not always for the good. When I tell my 16-year old to choose her friends wisely, it is to make her aware that there are always going to be people and circumstances in her life that may seem appealing or tempt her, and she will need her faith in God and his strength to make good decisions.

  224. I think it is #2 for me. I have a Facebook account and my husband doesn’t and I think it strains us sometimes. I don’t post much, but I love seeing what my friends are up to and pictures of their kids and how they are feeling. But with me on my phone or computer at times with Facebook, that takes away from him and I communicating, and sometimes I don’t realize when I have been on it so much because it consumes me. We are blended family trying to make it work, and it is hard. We have 3 daughters and they are all beginning the preteen stages and I know it is going to be rough. We have 1 boy and he is the baby. I truly enjoyed the devotion today, and pray you have a great day!

    Thanks so much, Emily

  225. What I listen to is a very important part of me now. As I have been struggling with my marriage I started to notice that i was tying songs to particular events and memories. This made either very depressed or angry. No that I have changed my choice of music my daughter has caught on all on her on. Thank you God!

  226. elisabeth says:

    Getting enough sleep is so important for me in guarding my heart! I have a 6 month old baby and I have realized in these last 6 months that I am very vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks when I am sleep-deprived. And when I am sleep-deprived, I am less likely to stay in the Word because I want to sleep every free moment I have! Now that my daughter is past the newborn phase, I am trying to get back on track with sleep and my quiet time.
    Thank you for this post and all the good reminders! 🙂

  227. Bible “snacking” is definitely the one I have to be on guard for. My heart can get distracted by so many things. And when it does, I lose perspective, little things bother me, problems seem bigger, but most of all, I lose the peace that is so beautiful and can only come from a closeness to God. Also, I need help in how to raise my 13 yr old daughter to understand this. I think your book would help with that.

  228. ‘Bible snacking”
    I’m guilty of that. If I ask God to give me more of Him, then I must do my part in meeting Him in the secret place. Now I’ve gotten myself in a routine to read in the morning, a devotional from you & bible gateway, and before I go to sleep. Gods word is my daily reminder, promises, protection, guidance.

  229. I believe what I need the most at this time; from having painful experiences from a broken hear is your # 4, spending time with appreciation of God’s word and promises. I am spending each day; sometimes more than twice or even three times looking at his promises and good books; seemingly written about how precious and important our heart is. Having the pain of making wrong choices and not being cautious with my heart has taught me how deeply our pain, as women, can be and how it lingers so long.
    I have learned that God can take care of that pain by creating a Journal. I am writing down my pain to God, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day; as his promises are he will take care of us. I also have learned to cry out to him; as he already knows and understands what I am going thru. I have learned a lot about my heart and why he says to protect your heart. I have and I am trying to let others know how to recover; with God’s help.

  230. Sleep, definitely! Too little sleep means my “defenses” are up and I am on high alert for the least little insult – intended or not. Music can speak to me very strongly, and this is a good reminder to make sure what it speaks is truth.

  231. Reading and soaking in God’s word is something I need improvement in. I would love to share these devotions with my children.

  232. Amy Taylor says:

    I think all of these keys are so important, but lately I would have to say that I need to be careful who I surround myself with. I left a time with a friend feeling unsettled, frustrated, and angry about a situation at work. Once I realized that I needed to pray about these feelings/emotions (because they are not from God), the Lord showed me that they came from the conversation. This is important with Christian friends as well as non-Christian friends. It can happen with either.

    I want to also say how thankful I am that the Lord prompted me to read the Proverbs 31 devotion today and then come to your blog. He was reminding me again about being alert when negative thoughts flooded my mind this morning. I stopped and was going to pray and put on the armor of God and then didn’t even realize I got distracted and didn’t do it. How awesome is He that the very verse He prompted me to earlier was in the devotion! I stopped immediately and put on my armor!

    Thank you!

  233. Mary-Margaret says:

    #1 is big for me. Being selective of what I listen to (TV, radio, friends, etc), and always make sure that my actions glorify God- unfortunately much easier said than done, but I am a sinner striving everyday!

  234. Bridgette says:

    #3 sits well with me “Be choosy who you surrond yourself with” Being unequally yoked is often time
    our issue. We tend to be drawn in as oppose to doing the Christ centered drawing.

    People will either lift you up . . . . Or pull you down. Most times they have no reasoning for wanting to
    be in your life, simply no purpose. Yes! we are to pour love on those in our lives or around us who have
    yet to know Jesus.

    Truly, I am blessed by these amazing (5) tips to guarding our hearts. I often use the phase “I must guard my heart with a sword!” Here today God is confirming same. Looking forward to WINNING a much needed substance material for my daughter and myself. God Bless!

  235. For me it would be number 1. I know that music definitely influences my emotions. If I am not careful to guard what I am listening to, I can easily find my self feeling down or angry. Need the affirming words of a Christian song to keep me focused on Him.

  236. BJ Jenkins says:

    Being intentional with pouring God’s truth into our hearts and lives. I am so guilty of the Bible snacking. I get busy doing good things and forget the One thing. And I forget that my kids are watching these habits. I was not raised in a Christian home and being a Christian mom is something I learn every day. But God gave me the promise when my kids were young that He would teach me and the Word is where I find those teachings.
    Have a blessed day

  237. Number 1. I most need to be careful what I listen to. My two young daughters love music like I do and I want them to learn positive things through the music we listen to. They DO notice what the lyrics are saying. Just the other day, my five year old asked me why all the country songs are boys singing about girls and girls singing about boys. We listen to praise and worship music, too, and those are the songs I most often here them singing as they go about being little girls. We need more of that music in our ears and hearts and less of the catchy country music that fills our ears and hearts with the wrong messages and feelings.

  238. All 5 are good. The one that stands out is choosing friends wisely or who I surround myself with. When i least expect it I can be picking up habits that i didn’t have or acting/saying things I never thought I do or say. The friends we surround ourselves can influence us one way or another. Thank you for your post and for being sensitive to God’s voice.

  239. I loved this devotional. It’s hard watching your children struggle in life and all of the tips are great. I, personally think you cannot get enough of God’s Word, so it would have to be #4. Read and study the Word more.

  240. Raising 2 young daughters I often find the upcoming teenage years very intimidating! I’ve watched other mothers have the teen years sneak up in than and are clearly unprepared! I don’t want to be that mom! I like the guard your ears! My girls live to sing and dance and I’m sure eventually we will have to be very intentional about what gets watched and listened to in our house. It’s a wonderful idea to start now!!

  241. Number 4 is the most important for me. It’s hard to make time to read my Bible everyday as a single mother of three (ages 4 to 14), but I know I need to! I’ve noticed when I get out of my routine, I become complacent, and it’s hard to get back into the habit of daily reading. I struggle more, emotionally, and I feel very distant from God. But when I do make the decision to be intentional with my relationship with Christ, I have peace and joy! It’s a wonderful feeling!

  242. Thus is right on for what has been on my heart recently. Definitely think that pouring God’s Truth in everyday is a must! Thank you for this! I have am almost 15 year old daughter. These kinds of resources are so helpful.

  243. Being intentional about puring God’s truth into your heart each day. It is so easy to get distracted nd wrapped up in the worldly things. At the encouragement of our pastor’s wife some ladies in our church are taking the challenge of scripture memory. Everyone chooses their own verse that the Lord is impressing on them. It’s a great (yet small) way to keep your mind on His word.

  244. Being careful to what I listen to reminds me that I have the power to change the channel from negative to positive messages. It also serves as a reminder to give my daughters positive messages and to teach them that tool.

  245. I really enjoyed this devotion. Great words of wisdom. For me, number 4 is the most important. I feel that if you stay in God’ s word, all else will fall in line. We need to stay prayed up and intentionally keep God at the forefront of our lives and expose our teenage girls to the same. We also have to live our lives setting good examples before our children.

  246. I need to focus more on #4, being intentional about pouring more of God’s truth into my heart every day. I can get so bogged down with self doubt and insecurity when I’m away from His word and the confidence that brings to me, it then affects everyone around me. I know I need to defend against the enemy’s lies that come in so many forms, and I need to do that proactively. I can then be a better wife and mother, and can minister better to my 12-year-old daughter.

  247. Amanda DeHart says:

    While I find all five significant and important, I find that #4, “Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day”, is most significant to me. Just like wearing rain gear to protect one from the elements or layering up to protect yourself from the cold, we can amor ourselves with God’s truth and His word. By pouring God’s truth into your heart before heading out for the day, you are better prepared to “take on” life’s challenges. YES, satan will continue to attack BUT a heart armored with God’s holy word will be better-shielded from harm.

  248. Megan Faultner says:

    I think all 5 steps are so very important, spending time with God is probably the most important one though. He gives us direction, discernment, wisdom and His perspective. But, in my life guarding my heart by guarding my ears is a big one too and sleep! Thank you for the opportunity for the giveaway!


  249. For me it would be number 4. I find whin I’m not intentional about my relationship with God that I let everything spin out of control. However all of the suggestions were great. I spotless love to win the gift pack for a couple of reasons. First I have two teenage daughters and one is struggling right now. The second, is I lead a girls youth class and am looking for new material.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Janet, I hope you will take a look at “His Revolutionary Love” for your girls’ class. You can find a free leadership guide under “freebies” and a sample chapter under “books”.

      Thank you for investing in the lives of young women!

  250. I think #4 is so important. We can’t fight the lies of the enemy when we aren’t in touch with God’s truths.

  251. Tammy Dobson says:

    1. Be Careful of what we listen to! This can come through many different options: through, music, talk shows, friends , families, even the conversation of a bystander .
    I really don’t think that a lot of people realize for example, music and the words- when you listen to the words of certain songs, it puts you in different moods and our minds seem to think of things, people, etc. that the song reminds us of or times or what it could be.
    This can give us thoughts that if heard enough and thought on/focused on we may act on.
    We have to put Good stuff in so we don’t rot and burst spilling sadness, hurt, negative, etc. feelings around. We need to listen to things that will produce, Good, Positive, Happy words, actions and thoughts!!!


  252. #4. There’s not much I’ve been able to do about sleep and I’m not on social media and already try to watch who I surround myself with. I think getting into the Word every day helps with so much, whatever it happens to be!

  253. Definitely being careful with social media…I just recently was in a relationship that began on social media. After an abrupt ending, I had the task of “unfriending” this person. This was very difficult for me but was a necessary step to protect my emotional sobriety. Seeing his postings and pictures was just a painful reminder to me of what was. I knew that the healthy response was to delete calls, messages, photos, Facebook, etc. Very difficult in our culture. Satan really gets hold of me through these mediums. Happy to say that with some help I was able to take measures to protect myself emotionally. My daughters are both married to godly men (praise God!). I do have two young granddaughters who I pray will not have to hurt as I have.

  254. Brittney Harp says:

    Hello my name is Brittney, I’m 30 years old and I’m a mother of two 10 and 15 mos. I would have to say I find steps 3 and 4 to be very important. Who you surround yourself with is very important. I found myself praying this morning to God that He would surround me with godly women from whom I can learn from and who would take the time to pour into me. I’m so use to being around family and friends. ecause of
    how I was raised, but since being saved I’ve struggled so much with my faith and I believe it’s been because the lack of love and spiritual support. I desperstely need from other true believers. Also, the. intentional pouring from the bible. I just realized that I bible snack all of the time after reading the steps. It makes sense why I always seem to burn out so easily. I believe these steps go hand and hand for me. I thank God that I’ve come this far in my walk. Mostl of it if not all has been by His grace and reading books, that give guidance. I dont come a strong spiritual background, but I’m determined that my girls do.Right now I’m seeking to learn my true identity and what that looks like for a woman of God who is also a mother. I ‘ve stumbled alot with my oldest and I hope to undo any wrong seeds before she gets older and possibly break any generational curses that have been passed down through the women in my family. Thank you so much for your insight Lynn.

  255. I think being intentional is the most relevant for me. Jesus sacrificed so much for us all, why shouldn’t we make extreme efforts to seek Him… And find Him in all that we do, say, watch, listen to, and involve ourselves. I especially need to be more intentional with my children. They need the word just as much as I do.

  256. I think #4, BEING IN THE WORD DAILY, is huge!!! The days your not, are the days the devil sneaks up and temptation is waiting at every corner. Go to GOD daily…he is waiting to hear from you!

  257. Brittney Harp says:

    I think I typed too much the first time, but I would have to say in short steps 3 and 4 go hand in hand for me.
    #3Who you surround yourself with is major. This morning, one of my prayers was for God to place me around loving and encouraging godly women. #4 Being intentional to pour God’s truth, all this time I’ve been blind sided, because I’ve beem bible snacking. There is no wonder now why I’m burnt out and spiritually drained. It hepls to have guidance from those who know. Thanks for the insight Lynn. It’s greatly needed.

  258. michelle h says:

    sleep! It’s amazing how different things can look based on my level of rest (or lack of!)

  259. It is hard to choose which is most important. But I would have to say for me, number 1 speaks loudly. I have always been the kind of gal that once I see something, or hear of a news story I did not want to know about, it’s very hard to get it out of my mind. I do not like for my husband to check his facebook account while our daughter is even in the next room. There is no warning for what might be coming up next and WHAM there it is. Not all of his friends choose wisely. So I would say to see something you shouldn’t or hear something that reminds you of something you don’t want to think about can have dire consequences.

  260. The point on getting enough sleep is soo key for me right now! I have two daughters;’a 2 1/2 year old and a 3 week old and I was finally able to humble myself this morning and ask my mother in law to watch my older daughter so I could catch up in some sleep! My husband has a new wife, my daughters a more patient mom, and I can now see things through a more godly perspective! Great reminder thanks!

  261. I find my struggle with #4, being intentional to pour God’s truth into my heart each day. I tend to “snack” on Gods word and convince myself that is enough. God has placed certain situations in my life to dig deeper in search of answers. One of my daughters, age 14, is struggling with choosing friends and dressing modestly. We continually have “discussions” on these topics and I feel so inadequate to answer her. It feels that I am always telling her “No” to clothes or “No” to hang out with certain friends. She does tell me she feels isolated and has no true friends. I pray each day for God to grant me the wisdom to help her know she is not alone. On days that I “snack” on Gods word, it seems that I struggle with her-answering her questions and dealing with her rebellion. Each day that I make time to truly soak in Gods word, I find a scripture that I can share with her that explains the importance of decision making in these areas. I am learning how faithful God can be in all things if we only turn to Him.

  262. #4 Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day! If you don’t have God’s word you don’t have a foundation to stand on or scripture to lean on in troubled times 🙂

  263. It’s really hard to choose, but I think #3 and #4 are the two that make the most difference for me. I’ve recently realized how often and how easily negative thoughts about myself creep into my head, so I’m trying to memorize scriptures of God’s love for me to recite when I find myself in a negative spiral of emotions. The people I choose to spend time with are also very important. Sometimes it just takes a call or quick visit from a close, godly friend to help turn a bad day around and get a new perspective.

  264. I fell that #4 is so important to me. Being a mom of 2 under 2 It’s really hard to get the time in to fill myself up spiritually. My husband will attest to me being much more pleasant and on guard when I have my armor on. Time is my enemy and there is always so much going on that when I don’t get into my Word every day then I am an emotional wreck and then the everything falls apart and I bring everyone with me. I really don’t want my daughter to have the same problems with distractions as I do. I hope to disciple her in a way that she will continue to feed on the Word and not fall apart like I feel like I do all the time. I’m probably not as bad at it as I think, but when you are on an emotional roller coaster then things are sometimes a little out of proportion :). Thank you for the encouragement!

  265. Kate Lantry says:

    I’d have to say 4 and 5 are biggies for me. Lacking in time spent in God’s word and lacking in sleep are like putting out a welcome mat for the enemy to jump into my day. When I’m well rested and have put on God’s armor, I feel stronger and able to tackle any spiritual battle.

  266. #4 & #5 are my biggest areas to work on. Over the past year, I have worked hard to purge the negative influences from my life. I came to a turning point in my life that nearly cost me my marriage, which forced some serious reconsideration of my priorities. I have since limited myself to Christian music, deleted my social media accounts, and have surrounded myself with a true Christian community. I have found following God to be much easier without all of the extra “noise.”

    My struggle has turned into finding the time and energy to consistently spend time with the Lord (working mother of a 2 and 4 year old). I am usually able to read a few devotionals a day, and a Proverb a day, but need much more to get through the day.

    This blog has been another confirmation to me, as we have been discussing the full armor of God in church, Sunday school, and in children’s church.

    Thank you, lady!

  267. Carissa Niemi says:

    Number four–Be intentional to pour God’s Truth into your heart each and every day! I can quickly get so busy that I’ll try to survive on snippets of quiet time and on the devotions we do with our children every night. Not good! I really need more food than that if I’m going to thrive and not just barely survive. (I must say, I’m working on the sleep thing as well.) 🙂

    This was a really encouraging devotional for me! Thanks so much, Lynn!


  268. Number 4!!! I have never read the Bible daily and although I want to get in this habit, it hasn’t become one yet. I know when I’m reading the Bible I start to feel closer to God, but being tired and busy always takes over. Thanks for a great read today, I have 2 girls that are almost 7 and 10 and I get so nervous about raising them right in this crazy media world. It’s nice to see there are positive things on the internet for them to combat the negative.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Andrea, I know it is so hard to find time. Ask Jesus to show you time, during your day, when you can steal way moments with Him!

  269. For my daughter and me, it is sleep. Everything is more intense when we’re too tired!

  270. I was unable to choose just one! I’m so thankful for this post. Guarding our hearts is so important. The TWO steps that I really need to work on are #4 and #5. If I don’t get enough sleep, I find myself bible “snacking” as well or at least reading for a while with droopy eyes and/or nodding off from time to time, and it definitely is not a way to put Him first! I have a husband, children, dogs and a house to take care of and I find myself always trying to get a few more things done in the evening before going to sleep: laundry, dishes, setting things out for the next day, time with my husband, and before I know it the clock reads 11pm. That definitely puts a damper on morning time with Him. He needs more than to just be “fit in” to my morning routine, but instead for me to have quiet, thoughtful and contemplative time in the Word, devotionals and in prayer. It will take discipline, but I know guarding my heart will only happen when I am disciplined, as wisdom would have it. I am beginning homeschooling my almost 10 year old daughter this year and it is going to be so important to have that precious, meaningful time with Him to pour His word and truth into my spirit so that I can pour it into her and our other little ones. My oldest has a God-given heart for sharing the gospel and singing and I want to fill her and all of my children up every chance I have. In order to do that, I have to be intentional about guarding my heart, which will help them in doing the same. Thank you Lynn for this devotional.

  271. M Passini says:

    #2-Be careful with social media-is what is the hardest for me to tackle. I have a 13-year-old daughter who is very caught up in Instagram. It is a daily struggle to try to get her interested in the real world, and away from an empty, virtual one. I never know when “suggesting” becomes “nagging” which then quickly becomes tuning me out. My prayer is that God will show me the opportunities he puts in front of me to grow closer to my daughter, and that he would give me his words to speak, so that she understands what is truly important.

  272. Kelly Messer says:

    #1. Being selective to what we listen to is an area that really rings true in my life right now. My daughter is 8 and she listens to everything, from my phone conversations, conversations with my friends or husband to news and media and she really gets caught up in what is said. She was recently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and I have found that she listens carefully so she always knows what’s going on. I have to shelter or really watch what I watch or listen to or say around her. I still have a long way to go in my spiritual journey but I try my best to teach her how to deal with the things she hears or sees that frighten or worry her. There is so much put out in the news of what bad things go on in our world as well as a lot of negativity in conversations around us in day to day life. She is at an impressionable age where she imitates what she hears. It’s my prayer that as her mother I can help her make the right choices and do the right things because I can’t always shelter her from everything and teach her and myself to truly guard our hearts.

  273. Riana Bekker says:

    I just woke up after a 9 hour night of SLEEP which is very rare for me! I DO feel so much better and on guard for the highs and lows of this new day! I definately need to improve my ‘SLEEP’ pattern! This year my daughter (11) is already battling with mood swings and girl issues at school. As a Mum it is hard and challenging to see her go through it but it is also a GREAT opportunity to connect spiritually and emotionally and share God’s ways with her. Our deepest discussions always happen Sunday night’s when we have our candle lit bubble bath! My heart’s desire is to raise a wise daughter who loves the Lord…

  274. #1 for me has always been a chance maker in my demeanor. When I was a teenager going through a nasty bullying phase I would come home & put my Christian music on full blast & feel somewhat normal after. Nowadays if I’m having a tough day I still find Christian music so uplifting.

  275. Step 4 – time with God and His word. All the other steps could be missing, but if this one is fulfilled, I harness His power, not my own weakness. It always amazes me and surprises me that even with that knowledge, I forget how essential it is.

  276. I need to be intentional about pouring God’s word in my heart every day. I do a devotional and think about it throughout the day, but just have “nibbles” of God’s word (1 or 2 verses) to ponder. Getting into the work doesn’t accidentally happen – we must, I must be intentional. The same holds true with sharing God’s word with my daughters. I must be intentional in passing on what the Lord is doing in my own life.

  277. What powerful truth’s you shared here. thank you.
    I’d say #4 – proper time in the Word and then also #2 social media

  278. Shelley Adrian says:

    It’s actually hard to choose just one, they are all such good pieces of advice!! I am in the middle of parenting a 14 year old daughter and 16 year old son and this is by far the toughest phase of my life. Over the last two years I have been doing some major overhauling in my life, brought on by the sometimes not so gentle proddings on my Lord and Savior! I listen almost exclusively to Christian music and I have done my best to surround myself with positive Christian women. I try to tread carefully with social media and I make sleep a priority. The one thing I really need to work on is #4, I tend to be a “Bible snacker”. I love the Word, I read a devotion everyday, I subscribe to Proverbs 31, and I am in 2 bible studies but I really don’t sit down and have dedicated quiet time with God. Too often I am a bathroom prayer! It’s the only quiet time I have and the only time my mind quiets!! As a parent to 2 teens, my prayer is that I can be a strong Christian example like you said in the devotion, but I worry that I am not.

  279. Trisha Szatkowski says:

    For me, being deliberate in my bible reading and quiet time with God really struck a cord. Your words “bible snacking” made me realize that’s exactly what I was doing! I know have the boost I needed to put the snacks aside and dig into a healthy full meal 😉

  280. Hi Lynn,
    Thank you so much for sharing God’s wisdom with us moms and teaching us about these 5 wonderful points. I’ve been praying about how to parent our daughter, 9, so she learns healthy and godly self-control. She’s testing the waters and definitely showing some teen “attitude” and disrespect. After some deep soul-searching, I see that I haven’t always been the best example of self-control or respect myself in the words I use. I really want to improve our relationship and help her grow into a godly woman. So I’m trying to be more intentional in my reactions. The resource that you are offering as a giveaway sounds like it would definitely help me guide my daughter (and me). Now more than ever in this world, we need a tool like yours. Girls will become women, and we need godly women like you and those at P31 in the world to help heal, mentor and inspire others towards following God. Thank you for your generosity.

  281. Charlotte says:

    All the suggestions are very interesting and some things I hadn’t considered would be important. I really think implementation of watching what we listen to will be very important in guarding our hearts and minds. As the mother of a 16 year old young lady I must pass the importance of that into her character.

  282. Charlotte says:

    Step 4! However, they are all pertinent to living a God filled life. When we know the truth of who we are then all is well! He will never let us down. If I fill up with my sweet Jesus, then everything else falls into place, and if it doesn’t fall into place the way I think it should, He is there to help me through it! What amazing grace!

  283. Really for my daughter and myself, I’d say number four… making sure to hold her accountable (as well as myself) for really getting into God’s Word daily needs to become a higher priority in our day!

  284. #5 really stood out to me. Getting enough sleep sounds so common and practical, but it really is huge in helping me maintain a good emotional balance & really protecting my heart. I saw this blog/post on Facebook today and thought, “Wow–where was this last week?!” It’s talking about exactly the attack I went through which honestly had I been getting enough sleep, I think may have been a lot more easy to bear. But still, so much truth about even in our emotions as women, we can be attacked. How vital it is for us to keep our “shield of faith”, our “breastplate of righteousness”, our “helmet of salvation” and our “sword of the Spirit” ready and not be surprised when we actually have to use them. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.

  285. For myself and two teen daughters, all have been important, but the one that has made the biggest difference and was supposedly hardest to conquer was sleep. I thought all sleep medicines were addictive, and it’s not true! Why did I take the doctor who tried to prescribe medication seriously without looking into it? Perhaps time will lesson the need for medication, but we’re in special circumstances with multiple health and emotional issues including a concussion and the appearance of an unstable birth mom.
    What we’ve realized is that even though we were resistant to the idea of medicine to help us sleep, without sleep NOTHING else had much impact. We’ve cut back on our activities and realized that the enormous stresses we are under require rest for our bodies as well as our minds.

    1. Joy,
      I saw your comment on here and I can certainly relate to the problem of not getting enough sleep! You are so right when you say without sleep nothing else has much impact. Have a blessed day!

  286. 4) Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day
    I find that many mornings, I’m trying to do so many things with our girls and getting ready for work, that I put off my devotional time until evening. My whole day is then a whirlwind managing work responsibilities, family and then my devotional time is squeezed in. I keep saying I’m going to wake up earlier to have morning time with God. I just need to make that my daily priority!

    1. #4 Satan tries so hard to get me to believe his lies and I have to combat that with God’s Truth every day in order to not get discouraged.

  287. Hi Lynn!

    Of the five steps you mentioned, the one most challenging for me is getting enough sleep! I am really bad about staying up too late because I think I can squeeze in one more chore or one more email. But then I don’t get enough rest and wonder why I’m cranky the next morning. It isn’t a good start to the day by any means. Thanks for sharing this post with us today!

  288. See What You Don’t See Coming:

    Speaks to EVERYONE. It’s not a girl / women thing. The Devil wants everyone and men are the most tempted with the click of a mouse at your fingertips. If you have the tiniest bit of doubt, the Devil will come in fast and hard and sway you. I never thought it would happen to me but it did. My LTR, broke up because he found married women who were on porn sites wanting something extra, he was / is having a struggle with God and the Devil won. I continue to pray for his soul but only he can turn himself around and fight.
    Everyone has to make a choice and but on guard. It’s very sad.

  289. Without a doubt it’s #4 Be intentional to pour God’s truth into your heart each and every day, for me. I struggle with making the time to do this justice.

  290. #5!
    And I love the analogy of “bible snacking!”
    It is so true!

  291. Teresa Hughes says:

    Numbers 4 and 5 really hit home for me right now. I have felt for some time like my time with God has steadily dwindled to reading a few quick devotionals before rushing out the door and, if I can spare it, a few minutes of reading scripture before I completely pass out. My sleep has already been cut short so spending more time in the morning or evening would require cutting my sleep even shorter. What it boils down to is you make time for things that are important to you so I must make my time with God as important as the time working, being with my family and all the other running and activities.

  292. I think #3 is a major one, not only for teenagers, but for all of us. I read somewhere that you become most like the 5 people you spend the most time with. It doesn’t take la long time of being around someone, before you can find yourself doing and saying some of the things they say and do, good or bad!

  293. Hi Lynn,
    My daughter is entering Kindergarten this year and I am already preparing and guarding my heart & hers for the challenges ahead. She will have to meet all new friends, as this is a new school for her. Your reason #3 reminds me to pray for the right friends who will remind her of Jesus. Also, I pray she shows others Jesus Love. I could really use the Lord’s guidance in your books for my daughter. Thanks, Carrie Brown

  294. This is the second devotion I read today with this as the key verse! I know God well enough to know that is not a coincidence! 🙂 I plan to go over your suggestions with my 3 daughters. Thank you! I think they are all important, yet could identify a particular “weak point” for each girl.

  295. For me it is #4 I find my toughest days when I have been only snacking on God’s word. The busier I get with running the house the less time I spend in His word. This causes the problem. Then God nudges me and I realize he is wanting to talk to me. I listen get back into quality time with Him. All my mountains He turns into hills because I let Him take my load.

  296. Heather M says:

    The enemy doesn’t need an open door just a tiny crack…isn’t that true. He is sneaky and if we give him an inch he will take it a mile. Be on guard…these are great reminders

  297. Just tonight as I was trying to do our daily bible reading and prayer time with my 1 , 4, and 6 year olds it was so difficult they were wiggling and my youngest baby was being violent I was so eorn and tired we were finishing up my baby got ahold of the annointing oil and poured it all out I lost control and broke down crying and asking God to strengthen me! I came across your blog and I realize my problem is #4 I am trying to disciple my children but im not spending enoughtime coming away with abba father and I feel dry because im pouring all I have into my children without truly being refreshed! Thank you I will attempt to spend more time being discipled 🙂

  298. I find it difficult to choose just one, as they are all so very important.

  299. All the suggestions are really great ones! For the season of life I am in right now numbers 4 & 5 were a tie. With little kids at home, I want to make the most of our time together and this requires me to have energy! Spiritually and Physically. I feel more equipped to handle things thrown at me during the day when I have had time alone with God praying and reading. Also, enough sleep. I feel awful when I react too quickly because I am exhausted. It is never my intention to push others away because of lack of sleep. I do think lack of sleep can lead easily into dropping our guard in the other areas. Thanks for sharing these tips…a great reminder and encouraging to why we need to guard our hearts…the little ones learn a lot from us parents (especially when we think they aren’t watching! ).

  300. In umber 4 and 5 are the ones that strike me the deepest. N #4: Making sure I spend time doing daily devotionals not just with me, but with my daughter as well. Making sure I start my day off with His knowledge, that I place my worries at his feet, that I look for ways to serve my family and others as God directs me; That I sit with my daughter each morning and do devotionals with her to teach her the same and to lead her by example. On 5: I tend to not get enough sleep because of the endless “to-do” list ech seems easier to get done after everyone is in bed. The result for me after time, is being tired, worn down, and resentful. So getting a good nights sleep is necessary.

  301. I was challenged to listen only to Christian music by a missionary friend (something he started doing in college). I definitely need to be selective in what I listen to – I find that certain music encourages certain thoughts and behavior. I have two daughters and I’m desperately seeking advice on how to raise them well. Thank you!!

  302. Cassandra Farmer says:

    2) Be careful with social media

    Social Media has become a requirement for my position also. I find myself tweaking my friend list often to keep the past from creeping in as it always does. I’ve started to watch what I choose to share in my post daily. Is it about me or God? Will it help someone or hurt? Especially after losing a few classmates that I was friends with on FB, their pages were still active. I thought about all the posts that were made prior to their death and the impact it leaves now that they are gone. I want to be on purpose with what I leave behind for my family and friends, most importantly my two precious children!

  303. Catherine Cooke says:

    Wow! I need all five reminders. The past few months have been very stressful for me and I have been intentional about my quiet time but it has easily slipped away for “busier” things. After visiting with my nutritionist I was told to eat several small meals a day instead of 3 larger ones. Although this is more like mini meals than snacking, I think I will use those times to also feed on the Word. Instead of Bible Snacking I will be recharging my spiritual mind with the Word of God as I am nourishing my body with food. It is so easy to feed on junk food and think it is a quick fix. The Word is meant to sustain us and empower us. The more we put in the more we can give out to others, family included. I am cleaning off my desk today so I can have a place to leave my Bible open and visit it often during the day! Thanks for the tips. I am going to use them all!!

  304. For me, number 4 is what speaks to me the most at this time in my life. I have two young daughters, so making time to be intentional about spending time with the Lord is sometimes challenging. I need to pour God’s truth in my life, so that I can be that example for my girls and to pour His truth in to their lives as well. Thank you for the post.

  305. I believe that Step 5 is the most important for me. There are so many distractions throughout my day that try to pull me away from Him. I have to be intentional in pushing those distractions aside and take time to pour God’s truth into my heart through His word!

  306. Karen Simpson says:

    All are so important, but I think number 2 is the most important for my daughter right now. It is so easy to get consumed with Social Media – Facebook, twitter and more. It is too easy to believe lies and see things as they are presented, rather than seeing truth. Lessons to see Truth and guard against the evil one being brought to the forefront will help my daughter through these years (She is 14) Thank you Lynn, you are a blessing to many 🙂

  307. Megan Shipley says:

    I think being aware of social media and getting enough sleep are very important for my girls. Also, being aware of your hormonal cycle. One of my dd gets very emotional, very dramatic the day before she starts. She’s an emotional child to begin with so hormones don’t help.

  308. As simple as this sounds, I really like the reminder to sleep. I find I do most of my catching up after the kids go to bed which keeps me up late. However, then I wake up tired and then I don’t pay as much attention to the other 4 listed because I don’t have the emotional energy to stick to it.

    Thank you so much!

  309. Jeanne Vertrees says:

    Number 5 is a huge need for me! Everything is worse when I’m tired. And I’m afraid my 14 yr old daughter has picked up my bad habits of busyness and filling her days too full of activity. It’s hard to wind down and get to bed at a sensible time. Any tips on helping her with this would be appreciated!

  310. No# 4 regarding “Bible snacking” hit me between the eyes. I am so convicted of doing just that! I had to confess to the Lord that I am sinning by not applying His truths into my life whole-heartedly. It is my desire to have an intimate relationship with Him, but I have notice a certain void in my heart. I have not been doing my do diligence of spending more quality time with Him in the Word and Prayer. I read my devotionals, study homework, but really not drinking it in as I should. I am so thankful a read this today! God does not want to leave our hearts condition unchecked. Thank you Holy Spirit for your leading. I have an “attitude of gratitude” for your lovingkindness and mercy in correcting me. Thank Lynn

  311. No #4 regarding “Bible Snacking” hit me between the eyes. I had to repent of doing just that! God does not want to leave our hearts condition unchecked. Thank you Holy Spirit for your leading me into an “attitude of gratitude” for your lovingkindness and mercy in correcting me. Thank Lynn

  312. Jessica F says:

    I think the most important for me is # 4. I think if we have God’s truth in out hearts we will be able to follow the other four. Thanks for all you do! Blessings.

  313. #5-getting enough/good sleep is an ongoing struggle. I am a single parent, full-time caregiver for my daughter and a student. Reaching my “juggling” limit happens much quicker when I don’t get enough sleep. The cycle seems to feed on itself, so you have to work hard to not let it snowball.

  314. As a college student, I still struggle with emotionalissues due to past relationships that have led to hurt from bullies and even old close friends. In college, friendships can still feel as hard as they did in high school. I feel this way especially since I am really shy and learning to deal with that since going from home school to public school in high school. Lately, I have been praying a lot to God over this. I love this post because. it is so relatable. My favorite part is the tip on social media, which has lately been reminding me of my short comings with fitting in in college. I thank God that people write and share devotional s like these to reach people like me.

  315. Stephanie says:

    I feel right now in my life,as it is ever changing so would my answer, number 1 & 2 are the most important. I am learning as I have 2 school age children how important those two are! I’m learning to teach them how important they are too. Society dictates do what ever pleases you, say what ever you, who cares. I want my children to loves others as God loves us. To respect all people, even if they aren’t the nicest. What we hear & see & follow have a much bigger effect than what I realized!!

  316. First the list is great. Each one a helpful reminder but for me the biggie is number 4. And I love how you called it bible snacking. I find that is so true in my life. Even the best devotions or best Christian book is no replacement for spending time in Gods word. I know when I start to worry and get anxious that I haven’t been spending enough time in his word. Thanks Lynn

  317. #5 and #4. I often have trouble sleeping due too illness. Boy, that make sit so difficult to make good choices and especially making prayer/quiet time the priority. Thanks for the encouragement.

  318. Definitely the last one! I am more emotional, reactive, grumpy, or negative when I am tired and cranky. I realize this and on weekends if I feel the warpath rising in me lol I give my husband a look and make myself take nap. Before I blurt out or more often bark out the wrong things to my family. I do thank God for giving me the wisdom to see this in me.

  319. #3!!!!! Last year our fifth child hardly slept. The depravation went on and on and I got extremely down. I fed my spirit on sugar, cheap entertainment and anger. The result: a deep pit of anxiety, guilt and disappointment. I did not want to live. I am free of that now and see the whole thing was an attack campaign from my hateful enemy. The “crack” he used was exhaustion. Never again, in Jesus’ Name!!!!

  320. I completely agree with what you have written. I hope this post could reach more people as this was truly an interesting post.

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