I Can’t Save My Children

I Can’t Save My Children

The pressure to try to save my children is off. I can’t. There’s nothing I can do to make them believe.

But what I can do is faithfully speak the truth—and live it out before them. I can answer God’s call to train up children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). I can wait patiently for Him to work.

It’s hard not to fear. But what I have come to rest in is that God is deeply invested in my children. He knit them together in my womb. He cares for them more than me. And my heart rests in knowing that not one prayer for my children goes unheard.

I share more about what I’ve learned and am learning about raising my little lads in this World Radio segment: https://worldandeverything.org/2019/04/trillia-newbell-bringing-up-believers/

Is the World against You?

Is the World against You?

There are times when I’ve felt like nothing was going quite right. Relationships seemed hard and strained. Sickness wrecked my body and plans. And my mind had to fight hard to remember God’s goodness.

In that fight to remember God’s goodness, I’d rehearse Paul’s rhetorical question in Romans 8: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (8:31).

A rhetorical question is a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect. It makes a point, rather than seeking an answer.

In this verse and the verses that follow, it’s almost as if Paul is saying, “Come on, look at all the Lord has done. Taste and see. Believe. If he did this, then why in the world wouldn’t you believe him, trust him, and rest in him?

God is “for us” means God is on our side. He is working on our behalf. God is working all things together for good.

If this is true, then who can be against us?

Listen to more of my reflections on The World and Everything In It: https://worldandeverything.org/2019/04/trillia-newbell-you-vs-the-world/

The “If God Is For Us” online study begins this week! Here’s some FAQs

The “If God Is For Us” online study begins this week! Here’s some FAQs

I am so thrilled about this 6-week online study hosted by the wonderful team at Moody Publishers! It begins on Monday, April 1, but as you’ll see below, if you miss this week, no big deal! I’ve received a few questions and want to jump right into the answers.

FAQ:

  1. Who can join?

Answer: Absolutely anyone! You can join as a group or an individual. But make sure to sign up here first: https://www.moodypublisherswomen.com/if-god-is-for-us-online-bible-study/

  1. I signed up but I did not receive an email. What do I do?

Answer: First check you spam folder. Emails may be there. If you have Gmail, check your “promotions” folder or other folders similar to that. If you do not find it there, go ahead and sign up again via the link above. If that doesn’t work, email me at newbellassistant@gmail.com and we will make it happen!

  1. When will you (Trillia) be joining the group?

Answer: Over the next six weeks, I’ll be in the Facebook group every Monday at 9:00 am. I won’t likely be able to be in there much more than once or twice a week but I will make sure to pop in as much as I can. The wonderful Moody Publishers’ team will be leading the rest of the week.

  1. What if I miss the Monday video study time?

Answer: The videos will be recorded and available not only all week but even after our six weeks is over! We are keeping the Facebook group open until June. So, if you need to watch the video as an individual or a group on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm, you can do that (or any other day and time)!

  1. What if I can’t join right on April 1?

Answer: This is similar to a video study that you would do on your own and therefore you will have access to the videos that are recorded each week until June. Please don’t wait to sign up officially via Moody (here) and go ahead and join the Facebook group. If you begin by May 1, you will be able to complete the 6 weeks.

Reminders from Moody Publishers:

Our online Bible study If God Is For Us begins this week and we are so excited!

Over 600 of you will be joining us as we dive deep into the riches found in Romans 8.

To make sure you’re ready to go, complete these three easy steps below:

  1. Join the private If God Is For Us online Bible study Facebook group. This Facebook group is where we will discuss the Bible study, meet with author Trillia Newbell, and interact together throughout the week. Join today, and be sure to introduce yourself! Please note that we will officially begin on April 1st.
  2. Pick up a copy of the If God Is For Us book by Trillia Newbell as soon as possible. This online Bible study is FREE, but you will need the book to follow along. You can find it at your favorite book retailer or purchase a copy for 40% off at Moody Publishers now through 4/7/19.
  3. Invite your friends to join you in the If God Is For Us online Bible study! They can join by signing up here. If you have note signed up, sign up here too.

Now you’re all set. We’re excited to study with you.

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Who can you encourage today?

Who can you encourage today?

I don’t have many regrets in life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I do believe the Lord has used them to refine me, teach me, and make me more like His Son.

But if I could go back to the Sunday night before my sister suddenly died, I would have shared something encouraging to her. I would have told her how much I loved her. I would have been less busy with my own schedule and more attentive to her needs. I would have listened to her that night.

But I didn’t do those things.

We don’t know how long our friends and family will be with us, but if we have them today, then we have an opportunity. And I have decided to no longer wait for a eulogy to tell those I love dearly why I love them.

They won’t need that encouragement in eternity. They need it today.

I reflect on these things on World Radio. Listen here: https://worldandeverything.org/2019/03/trillia-newbell-the-wisdom-of-love/.

My Future Self Will Thank Me

My Future Self Will Thank Me

(This post continues my first draft series where I write the various things on my heart and mind without editing due to time and then I press publish. You can read the first post here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/2019/01/17/first-draft-blogging-series/)

Did I tell you I have a hiatal hernia? I don’t write or talk about it much but if you’re around me, you’ll quickly see and hear the effects of it. I cough a lot and must restrict what I eat. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). I know, lovely. I was diagnosed with it after receiving a procedure to determine why I had so much pain in my abdomen. And although I haven’t been officially diagnosed, I do believe that I also have celiac disease. I have all the signs and the one time I went completely gluten free I experienced a significant improvement in my quality of life.

So, if I know how to help myself, why won’t I? Why do I continue to struggle with the pain and cough and uncomfortable-ness if I know what I need to do? It’s simple: I lack self-control and I’m selfish.

Recently, I’ve been freshly convicted by my lack of care for my health. I’ll say things to myself like, “Don’t you want to be around for you children” or “You will feel better in the long run, dumby” and then I eat that bowl of ice cream and hope for the best. I try to convince myself that it will be okay…if I eat slowly. Yes, I think if I eat it slowly I’ll be okay, my way of trying to reason with myself so I can eat what isn’t good for my body.

I think it’s also difficult for me to control what I eat and exercise self-control because I don’t struggle with my weight and don’t have other medically diagnosed health concerns that seem tangible. But I’m fooling myself and hurting myself. The reason my condition can be dangerous is because in the long run, it’s harming my esophagus, the lining of my stomach and a variety of other secondary issues.

My Future Self Will Thank Me

Drew's bookLast year, I had the opportunity to read and endorse Your Future Self Will Thank You by Drew Dyck. It is an accessible and helpful book about self-control. I remember when I read it quickly that I’d need to come back to it again. Here’s part of what I wrote in my blurb:

Self-control is something we all need but not something we like to admit we need…Your future self will thank you for reading and heeding this book!

I’ve decided now is the time to pick it back up and read it again. I want to ask my heart the hard questions and ask God to do the good work He loves to do in His children: make me more like His Son. I am confident that God is going to help me, not because I’m confident in myself, but there’s been a change. I guess this is what repentance looks like. I have asked the Lord to forgive me for my lack of self-control and am turning, changing by His glory and running towards Him for help in this area. My future self will thank God.

 It Takes a Tribe

Besides self-control in what I eat, exercise also helps. I used to be a group fitness instructor and so exercise came rather naturally: it was my job! But now that I have devoted my work and attention to writing and speaking, fitting in exercise takes a lot of effort. I’ve tried pulling in friends, signing up for road races, and doing a number of other things to build accountability. Although these were good ideas, none of them motivated me because I knew I didn’t have to do it. I had an out and the busyness of writing and travel usually made it easy and excusable to give up.

But, recently I decided to take on a challenge that would cost me if I failed. I won’t share all the details but I am doing a 42 day challenge hosted by a company called Iron Tribe where I’ll have to go to their facility three times a week for a workout, restrict my diet to the things I’m supposed to be eating, and if I fail pay a significant amount of money. Yes, it’s that intense and drastic…and I’m excited! The Iron Tribe coaches will text me to make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to so the accountability is pretty intense, which is also what I need.

Another reason why I’m sharing this with you is because I will need to document my attendance. Yes, I have to post something on social media so that the coaches can track me. Big brother will come after me, y’all! I’m kidding but that level of accountability will prove to be helpful. So, if you are on Instagram or Facebook, you will be able to follow along via my stories and I’ll likely post here once in a while too.

So, here’s to self-control! If you struggle in this area too, I encourage you to grab Drew’s book, your future self really will thank you.

Your Children Can’t Bear the Burden of Being Your Identity

Your Children Can’t Bear the Burden of Being Your Identity

There isn’t much I find more delight in than caring for my children. They are a joy to be with. I could listen to my daughter’s belly laugh and my sons deep, yet still child-like, voice chatter all day long.  I have had four miscarriages and I do wonder if that loss has helped me to see just what a gift from God my children are to me. But even still, when I think about this wonderful responsibility and the joy of being a mother it’s not what defines me. I don’t define myself as a mom first and I don’t believe it would be good or helpful to my children if I sought to find my identity in them either.

 A New Creation, a New Identity

I am a new creation. The old is gone and with this comes a new identity (Col. 3:10). My old self has died and my new life with Christ means a new identify with him too (2 Cor 5:17). With this new birth comes a new identity. I no longer live for myself. Paul wrote about this new creation in Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2: 19b-20).  Being identified with Christ means full and free acceptance by God, the ability to approach a Holy God, no condemnation, complete forgiveness, righteousness before God, and presentation to God one day as blameless and perfect. Now that’s amazing grace! This is an identity that can never be taken away from me. Ever. No one can take it away from you either.

The moment you or I begin to place our identity, our hope, in anything other than Jesus we will be joyless, left striving and empty. If our identity is in our children and they fail, for example, we may be embarrassed and afraid of the opinions of others. If our identity is in our children then any move these image bearers make begins to be a reflection of us—either we feel good about ourselves or we are discouraged. When our identity is in our children our measure becomes their performance. This not only damages our own spiritual health and joy, it damages theirs too. The pressure will be felt and our children will bear a burden they never were meant to bear—they will become figurative gods.

One of the most caring and loving things I can do as a mom for my children is to acknowledge and live as this new creation with my new identity. I love them most, I believe, when I am resting in my identity with Christ and not trying to seek my identity in motherhood. I want to be an example to my children, not of a perfect person, I’m not—I make mistakes and my children see them—but as a desperate person. I want to be calling out to God, spending time in His Word and learning all I can about Jesus. I want my kids to see that I confess my sin, repent and receive God’s grace. I trust that as I live out my identity and pour myself into Christ, my kids will reap the benefits and so will I. I may never learn to sew extremely well, I may not have the cleanest home, and I probably won’t be organized enough to pull off the soccer mom role, but by the grace of God they’ll know me as a mom who loved Jesus first and who found my identity in him.

 ***

This is part of my first draft series. You can read about the series here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/2019/01/17/first-draft-blogging-series/

Also, if you haven’t heard, we are doing an online Bible study! Learn more here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/2019/03/01/announcing-god-us-online-study/

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