What’s up girlfriends?!

Fall is upon us with all of its splendor and beauty. I love the fall–it’s one of my favorite seasons. Well actually, it is my favorite season. I love the colors of the leaves, the mums are always so beautiful, and the air has just a slight bite to it to get you going every morning.

But most of all, it’s the season of everything pumpkin spice! I love pumpkin spice cereal, cornbread, waffles, and best of all–coffee! Is there anything better than Pumpkin Spice coffee? I think not! If you were to ask anyone who has known me more than a minute they would assure you that I love three things intensely:

  1. I am completely in love with Jesus and His Word. Completely.
  2. I am madly in love with my husband and our 6 Dufflings.
  3. I run on coffee…period.

I honestly can’t get my head around trying to do life without Jesus, the support of my family, and the magic of coffee. I fell in love with coffee after the birth of our second child and by the time our third Duffling showed up it was settled–coffee was now necessary for life to continue in any form or fashion of normal.

As believers we are to possess that same passion for all things Jesus. Deep within us we are to know without a doubt that Jesus is needed for everyday life.


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

At first glance it seems impossible, especially when you read the words “always” and “all.” Those words leave no room for anything else to be going on in your life.

But how many of us actually do nothing all day? Not too many of us, if any at all. We got stuff to do and, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” But, on further study and reflection it is understood that the Word of God is speaking about our hearts and motives for the dailyness of our lives.

Each day we are faced with many choices and this verse is stating clearly: Do not attempt life without prayer. We are to keep a prayerful heart and a mindful soul of how Jesus is working in each and every circumstance of our lives. Jesus will never leave one thing undone, but we must ask, seek, and knock.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-12 (ESV)

Some days seem just chock full of trouble and even extreme sorrow; how are we to give thanks for something like that? We can give thanks that we are not alone in our trouble and extreme sorrow. We can remember that even if we feel alone we are never alone.

Praying moves us closer to the heart of God and we begin to know He is indeed with us.

When I find myself anxious about the cares of life, I must remind myself to stop and pray. I find myself giving up whispered prayers that are not very elegant in speech pattern. They sound more like, “Jesus help me.” And occasionally it’s just, “Jesus,” but I am assured that Jesus is indeed listening and Jesus will show up, every time I ask.

A few months ago our family suffered a tragic loss and the sorrow was like a shroud I couldn’t free myself from. It was always with me and I wore my grief like a cloak and it was heavy. But, even in this place of utter sadness I had hope. I can’t explain it because, truly, I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t understand it now. However, I was absolutely sure that Jesus was close to me. Every tear I shed He captured because they are precious to Him. Every whispered prayer that was mouthed as a sob Jesus heard me and Jesus is healing my heart.

In all of this sorrow, life continued. My husband had to work, laundry needed to be done, my children had their own lives to live; nothing stopped moving and I had to move forward as well. But, I had Jesus. I asked Jesus to help me and Jesus did, He gave me enough. I had enough hope to make it to the next day. I had enough joy to keep me until the next day. I had enough love to make it to the next day. I simply had enough until I was able to proclaim, “Jesus, you are more than enough!”

Praying without ceasing and giving thanks in all things made me stand in a place of faith. And that’s exactly where the Lord wanted me to stand–in Him. I still weep over the loss of my precious Izzy T. I miss him, but I still have hope. I am thankful we got to meet this precious one. I am looking forward to our great reunion in glory because it will indeed be grand. Here and now I choose to trust Jesus with my grief.

Daily I am asking Jesus to guide me. Daily I am seeking His presence and knocking on the door of faith, all knowing that Jesus will not disappoint me. I will not leave with a stone, but I will walk away with the bread of life every. single. time.

Until next time, don’t stop praying, giving thanks, asking, knocking, and seeking. Jesus will not disappoint, ever!


Gripped by a strong God!

<>< Claudia Duff