Calling all Christians! Stop the Gossip!

When someone shares a prayer request with you, it's not permission for you to gossip!

Prayer Requests=Gossip for Christian people.

If you are active in the Christian community, you will know exactly what I’m talking about here.

It’s like God is giving us permission to share secrets, right?  I mean, we want people to pray and the more the merrier, so I’ll just tell everyone I know about these serious secrets, and then we’ll all just pray about it.  Totally innocent.

Not so much—

I have been on both sides of this one—I have shared a friend’s prayer request with a mutual friend for no other reason than to inform her of the information I received and as long I ended it with, “…so you have to pray for her.” Then I’d be covered. It didn’t take long after I made that mistake for me to just feel terrible and guilty—I knew I had messed up.  Ugh!

One time I asked a friend to pray for me about our decision to homeschool.  This was way back when we were still on the fence and I wasn’t sure if I could even do it.  Lots of self-doubt here, guys—not pretty and not exactly something I wanted shared with the world.

So later that same day I received a facebook message from a mutual homeschooling friend—telling me that’s she would be praying for my decision—it was actually a very encouraging and sweet note.  But it did bother me that my other friend shared my “secret” with another person within a matter of hours!

I’m sure her intentions were good—and really, they usually are, but it wasn’t her news to share.   It was mine.

Are you seeing it yet?  The way that Christians can gossip for free—with no guilt?

This is a little loophole that nobody likes to talk about because the word gossip is such an ugly word.

But let’s call it what it is and get past it.

When someone comes to you asking for prayer, they are in a very vulnerable state, because for most of us—asking for anything and admitting you need help is super tough and super humbling.  To take advantage of that trust under the guise of being a good Christian is an absolute betrayal.  I’m sorry, it just is.

[Please hear me when I say that there are exceptions to every rule—if someone is threatening to do harm to themselves or others—then it is time to speak up.]

When someone shares a prayer request with you, it's not permission for you to gossip!

So how can we put a stop to this?  How can we do better and end the culture of gossip?
  • Simply ask that person, “Is it ok if I share this prayer request?” It seems obvious, but I think it’s an important step that is often overlooked.
  • You still need to be careful about who you are sharing with. Having permission to share a request doesn’t give you absolute freedom to share with just anyone.  Check yourself—is this person really someone who can passionately pray in agreement with you?  Or are you just sharing in order to tell a secret? (ie: gossiping!)
  • Have a safe group to share prayer requests with. I lead a small women’s Bible study and there are around 10 of us who meet weekly.  During that time, we share prayer requests.  I trust these women and I know that whatever is said inside that room is absolutely safe. (But I am still careful to not share too many details and then not allow it to turn into a gossip session.)
  • Have a prayer mentor. Find someone outside you’re circle of friends (that you trust) to share the big stuff with.  The stuff that feels too heavy to handle alone.  If I’m honest, I have shared stuff with my prayer mentor that I didn’t necessarily have permission to share, but there are things that I just don’t know how to pray for or where to begin.  It is never shared in order to gossip—only as a way to learn to pray more effectively.

But seriously, Christians, there are people within our faith who have been viciously hurt because of this sneaky little loophole.  This dirty little way to gossip–this is how rumors get started and spread—and this is why people leave the church and never look back.

This is also why people can never be fully released of the shame and guilt—because if there is constant life being breathed into our pasts, we’ll never be able to move beyond it.

Join me in praying for our faith and those within it—that our hearts can be softened and that we can be fiercely protective of the sanctity of prayer.

Meal Planning: Simplified

Meal Planning Doesn’t Have to be so Hard:

Listen up my friends—I think we make this meal planning thing too difficult.

I have written a lot about my efforts to keep things simple—to stop myself from being ridiculous with over-complicated systems. I mean, the last thing I need is another system.

Some people take meal planning to a level that is just off the charts–devoting entire walls in their kitchens to the display.  You see them all over Pinterest and wonder if there is any way these people actually stick with it!  (Check out examples of what I’m talking about here, here, and here)

 

Meal planning doesn't have to be so hard! Check out the super simple meal planning system that works great for my family!

Continue reading →

Scripture to Pray When Someone You Love is Sick

PINScripturesIt seems like whenever someone asks me to pray for them, it is because they are facing an illness of some kind.  Well, either they are sick or someone they love is.  Sometimes it is so overwhelming–I just feel so helpless.  I mean, what can I do about it anyway?

When I started leading a small group Bible study for women, I was shocked by the number of members who were dealing with major medical problems.  Seriously, the weight of it really piled on my shoulders—the responsibility entrusted to me—I didn’t know how to deal with it.

The only answer that even measures up?  The only thing that can even begin to take the edge off of the pain that long-term or terminal illness brings?  Certainly not my words—but His.

Praying scriptures, and wrapping my loved ones up in God’s holy words. That is the only way to get through the devastation in my opinion. 

Continue reading →

Five Things on Friday: Pool Toys

Favorite Pool Toys for 2016

When we bought this property, we immediately fell in love with the location, the land, and the house–but the GIANT above ground pool out back–not so much!

The pool was only a year old at the time–and was meticulously maintained for the single summer it was open–but I had no desire to have a pool.

When people hear or see that we have this big pool they are like, “WOW!  That is so awesome!” and my response is pretty much always the same, “I love/hate it.”  

Let me explain…

 

Continue reading →

4 Easy Meals to Serve to Last Minute Guests

Do you ever have those moments where you blurt something out without thinking first? Like telling someone at church to come over for lunch or dinner that same day?

And then you’re like, “Crap!  I don’t know what to make!”

Well if that’s you, then this post will be right up your alley.

Most of the following meals are tried and true–tested many times on many different age groups.  They can be made for a small group or expanded to feed the masses–they are easy and universal. Each of these meals has basic ingredients and can be pulled together quickly and without a run to the grocery store.

(They are also great to cook when it’s 5pm and you don’t know what to make for dinner!)

 

Super easy meals your guests will love

 

Continue reading →

Don’t Mess With the Sleep Schedule

One thing I never do is mess with sleep–the kids do not sleep anywhere except in their beds–not mine, not the couch, not the floor–in their beds.  It’s just a general rule that we have followed since our oldest son was born.  And for the most part, it’s been a lifesaver.  It has taken a lot of training, but they are all three AMAZING sleepers!  Boom!

With that being said–there are times when I just really want to crawl into bed with them and snuggle.  To let them stay up later than normal watching movies and eating snacks. To let them fall asleep on the couch for a nap instead of going to their rooms.  To let them crawl into my bed during a thunderstorm instead of soothing them in their own rooms.

It sounds so simple–but doing each of these things jeopardizes all of the hard work we have put in so far.

Why I will never mess with my kid's sleep schedules again. www.themodernmary.com

 

Continue reading →