In my opinion, American culture is in constant stress mode. We pack too much into our day, everyday, and according to the latest research, don’t get enough sleep each night. Sleep is designed to help the body and brain rejuvenate. The proper amount of sleep each night is your #1 weapon against stress. Secondly, utilizing relaxation techniques on a regular basis can help you de-stress. Here are a few of the benefits of relaxation that reports:

 Improves concentration
 Reduces anger and frustration
 Boosts confidence to handle problems

You may feel finding time for one more thing is too much, but it needn’t be. I’m not suggesting a 30-minute period of time. Even five minutes of relaxing will help and you can do it when you lie down to sleep for the night. You can even learn to relax on your drive home from work each day. To find out just how simple it all is, read this article on relaxation techniques from

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010. Photo by M. Reed Butterfield © 2010

Seek Prayer Warriors

“And Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.’ So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword” (Exodus 17:9-13, NKJV).

When you are dealing with circumstances such as abuse, death of a loved one, addictions, etc., you need prayer warriors who can encourage you, provide an objective point of view, and support you in prayer. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19, NKJV). I am so glad I had two such women when I faced my husband’s sexual abuse of my daughter. They were a fountain of godly advice and I drew strength from their confidence in God.

• Seek out at least two friends (of your gender) who are strong Christians knowledgeable in the Bible and ask if they would be willing to pray for you on a daily basis. If you don’t know anyone like this, ask your pastor for some help. If you are not attending a church, I urge to find one. Your church provides more than Sunday sermons. You’ll find new friends who can encourage you, prayer with you and share their experiences as you grow in your walk with Christ.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010 Photo by M. Reed Butterfield © 2010

Apply Scripture to You

I was listening to the radio as I drove to church yesterday and had what I like to call chocolate-covered cherry moments—little moments of delight sent from God (see my post dtd 11/25/09). The DJ was announcing David Crowder’s song “Everything Glorious.” The chorus states, “You [God] make everything glorious.” To paraphrase the DJ, “God makes everything glorious, and he made you.” Wow, I’m glorious, and so are you!

How often do we stop to analyze what God says and truly apply it to our lives? Genesis 1:31 says, “God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!” (The Message). God made you, and you are so good, so very good. Embrace that, dwell on it, and plant it in the fertile soil of your heart that you may grow strong and confident in all that God says about you.
Debra L. Butterfield © 2010. Photo by M. Reed Butterfield © 2010

Bible Study Techniques

Bible study is essential to grow your faith. When you read the Bible, you are utilizing one method, and there are a number of reading plans to use. I have often found studying the Bible intimidating. I expect many people do. Learning something new always seems difficult at first, but it will get easier. Today there are many books available that teach how to study the Bible and additional tools like Bible dictionaries, commentaries and concordances to aid you. There are also many websites that offer study methods.

Here a few:
• Word study: researching one word and how it is used throughout the Bible
• Topical study: researching a specific subject such as obedience
• Inductive study: a thorough examination of biblical text by using logic induction and reasoning
• Biography study: studying a particular person from the Bible such as Elijah
• Chapter study: examining one chapter at a time
• Book study: studying one full book of the Bible at a time.

Be adventurous and try several methods!

For reading plans, visit
For more information on inductive study, visit
For study methods:
Debra L. Butterfield © 2010


Daily routines are nice. They keep us steady and feeling secure. But sometimes spontaneity opens the door to the best part of our day. If a friend calls as says, “Let’s go for coffee” be open to the idea. If your child says, “Let’s play” stop and take the time to play. People are important to God. And you are important to your friends and family. The people in our lives are precious gifts from God.

I had a wonderful weekend with my daughter and grandson. I said, “Let’s play Wii bowling.” We bowled two games. Then we played over 10 games of tennis, then several games of baseball. We laughed and shouted and huffed and puffed. I’m sore today. My grandson probably isn’t, but he has a wonderful memory of playing with Grandma that he might not otherwise have had.

Be spontaneous!

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010

The Dreaded To-Do List

I believe in to-do lists, but I do not use them everyday. I create lists to remember what I need to get done in a day/week/month. I am especially busy toward the end of the month. A daily list is necessary to ensure I meet my deadlines. Like being organized, list making is a tool designed to help you.

If you’ve never tried to-do lists, give it a shot. Experiment to find what works best for you. Be realistic about what you put on your list and remember to build in time for those unexpected interruptions that invariably happen. Whether you work outside the home or at home, a list can help you stay on track and on top of the busyness of your day. For more information, visit this site:

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010

Confess Your Anger

“God, why did you let all this happen? You could have prevented it.”

Perhaps you’ve found yourself saying these very words. Maybe you’ve even wanted to add, “I’m so angry at you, God.” Guess what? Even if you want to say it and don’t, God knows how you feel. So you might as well say it. It took me several months before I was able to admit to myself that I was angry with God. Then I told him during my prayer time one day. In fact, I screamed it. But God is patient and loving; he listened to my ranting without condemning me. Once I released my anger, I instantly felt better. I spent more time in prayer and before I was done I was praising and thanking God for the refining work he was doing in my life. I resolved my anger and moved forward with healing.

Are you angry at God for past or present circumstances? Confess it to him. Don’t be afraid to express it the way you feel it. If you need to shout, then shout. But don’t stay angry. If at all possible, continue to prayer until you have resolved your anger toward God and can end your prayer with praise for God’s infinite wisdom and work in your life.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010

God's Faithfulness

To be faithful is to be “true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.” and “reliable, trusted or believed” (Webster’s Unabridged). Therefore, because God is faithful you can trust him to keep his promises and do what he says he will do. Do you doubt his faithfulness? Here is a verse you can memorize and on which you can meditate.

Lamentations 3:22-23
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” New Living Translation
“Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” New International Version
“God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!” The Message
“It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is your stability and faithfulness.” The Amplified Bible
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” New King James Version
Debra L. Butterfield © 2010 Photograph by M. Reed Butterfield © 2010. Used with permission.

Too Organized?

Is there such a thing as being too organized? Some may say yes. I am organized in ways others might say is obsessive-compulsive, but I am not a slave to my organization. I let my filing and laundry pile up and procrastinate as much as any other woman. There are areas of my life that I like to keep organized simply because it saves me time and keeps me from getting frustrated when I can’t find what I want.

To make finding your clothes easier each day, hang:
• Short sleeve shirts in one area by color
• Long sleeve shirts in one area by color
• Pants
• Skirts
• Dresses and suits together

In the kitchen:
• Keep all your baking items in one or two cupboards next to each other near the area you use to mix and fix
• Alphabetize your spices. Lack of space forces me to keep mine in a cupboard rather than a rack. I can only see the front row. Alphabetizing them allows me to know approximately where each item is, rather than searching through them all to find the allspice.

For movie and music lovers:
• Alphabetize your movies and CDs (I confess, I actually categorize my CDs then alphabetize)

For book lovers: (get creative!)
• Alphabetize by title or author
• Categorize by subject/type, such as DIY repair books, fiction, work related, etc. and shelve accordingly (dare you alphabetize too?)

Monk would love these rules (and no, I didn’t learn them from him). It’s not about being a slave to the method. It’s about staying off the hamster wheel.
Debra L. Butterfield © 2010

"I Think I Can. I Think I Can."

There is power in what we speak. Proverbs 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” In other words, what we speak brings life or death. I want my words to bring life to my spirit and life to those around me.

In the book The Little Engine That Could, the little engine has a mountain to climb in order to get his cargo to the city on the other side. He tells himself all the way up mountain, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” What is the little engine doing? He is speaking life to his goal. He is making an affirmation. According to my Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, to affirm is “to state or assert positively; maintain as true.” The engine accomplished his task because he affirmed he could. We can, in much the same manner, grow our faith through affirmations. Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

Since we are talking about growing our faith, we’ll want to base our affirmations on specific Bible verses. Sometimes the verse is already stated in an affirming way. For example, Philippians 4:8, NLT says, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Sometimes we have to rework the verse to state it in an “I” manner. In John 15:15, Jesus says, “Now you are my friends.” To make an affirmation of that verse is to state, “I am Jesus’ friend;” or “I am a friend of God.”

The key to growing through affirmations is speaking them out loud on a regular basis. To learn more, read “Improve Your Life through Effective Affirmations,” by Laurie A. Gray.

Here is an affirmation prayer I created based on Ephesians 2:10, 3:16, 20, NLT. You might want to adopt as your own. “Father, I am your masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus so I can do the good things you planned for me long ago. From your glorious unlimited resources, I am empowered with inner strength through your Spirit to accomplish what you have planned for me. I give you glory, O God, for you are able through your mighty power at work within me, to accomplish infinitely more than I might ask or think.”
Debra L. Butterfield © 2010

You Make God Smile

“The LORD will work out his plans for my life” (Psalm 138:8a, NLT). You can be assured God didn’t create you and then walk away never to be involved in your life again. Would you do such a thing to your own child? Of course not. In his book The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren states God “chose to create you for his own enjoyment. You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose, and his delight.” Part of his plan for your life is simply to enjoy you as his child. “The LORD delights in his people” (Psalm 149:4, NLT).

I treasure each of my children because they are first and foremost my children. I won’t love them more because they become successful doctors or executives. I won’t love them less if they committed a crime and went to prison. I don’t have to perform to earn God’s love. He loves me because I am his child. Performance-oriented person that I am, this truth liberated me. I bring delight to God by just being me. And so do you.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2010