Gina (Akao) Decker

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Prayer Devotional: Day 125

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23 NKJV

With so much change in my life going on right now as I prepare to move from Blackfoot, ID to Tijeras, New Mexico, it sometimes seems like everything changing, but everything is not changing.

My faith in Jesus is exactly the same. He comforts and stabilizes me when I feel unsteady. He restores my soul and quiets my mind.

My son and I took a long walk outside our hotel in Albuquerque today. Going outside always seems to improve my three-year-old’s mood, and he is easier to manage after he has spent time outdoors as well. He found a stick and immediately turned it into a walking stick.

With all the toys that I have purchased for him, the simple stick entertained him for quite some time.

The Lord is the constant in our lives. He provides for us, and he even gives us good gifts to occupy our attention. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 132

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love Him. – 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

Sometimes with a lot of changes going on in my life all at once, I buckle down and focus on the day-to-day tasks of just getting through the day. I get a lot of stuff done that way, without getting too overwhelmed.

The only problem with that laser-focus strategy is I sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees because I am just trying to get through the day.

Whenever I get too worried about little things that don’t really matter, I try to focus on the big picture that God has laid out for us.

We can’t even comprehend the good things ahead of us, so there is very little reason to sweat the small stuff. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 105

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32 NIV

An incredible blessing and answer to prayer came yesterday when Idaho State University approved my request to work remotely through the rest of the academic year while my husband, son, and I move to New Mexico!

Although the pandemic has brought on many stressors, it has also brought on an advancement in how we work together online, when only in-person work had been accepted previously.

This new flexibility has also come with its own set of work-life balance challenges.

As I was ending my workday while working from a hotel yesterday, my toddler decided to throw a royal tantrum because he didn’t want to get dressed before dinner. Because my husband and I are potty training him still, we sometimes let him get away with parading around in underwear, but that, of course, is not acceptable for dining out! I counted to three and when my toddler still refused to get dressed, I got him dressed whether he liked it or not. This showdown resulted in streaming tears on the toddler side and frustrated impatience on my end.

My husband met us in the hotel hallway and my son loudly announced, “Mom is being mean to me!”

Luckily with my husband there to hear out both sides and meditate the situation, the tantrum subsided and we were able to go to dinner.

By that evening, my son had sweetly fell asleep while leaning on my shoulder as if all was forgiven.

Parenting during the pandemic takes extra forgiveness and patience. When I was working on campus, I had a more obvious boundary of when my work ended and my one-on-one time with my child began.

We have to forgive ourselves and realize that next time we can do better. The Lord knows that we have frustrations, yet He still listens to us attentively. We can practice composure during stressful times and instead of losing our tempers, remember that Jesus modeled forgiveness for us! Amen.

For more information about my parenting saga, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I post Toddler Updates.

Prayer Devotional: Day 50

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8 NIV

In a world of never-ending change, one thing is constant: Jesus loves us and saved us.

It doesn’t matter whether we gave our lives to Jesus a long time ago or if we are new to Christianity. Jesus loves us no matter what. He will never break our hearts. He will always offer us living water.

Sometimes we find ourselves thinking about people whose actions gave us grief in the past. When we find ourselves grumbling about the past, we can remind ourselves to love one another the way Jesus loves us. He forgives us, and we can forgive others, no matter what they have done. God is a God of redemption. Amen.

Prayer Journal: Day 223

Day 223

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. – James 4:10 KJV

Overcoming an illness can be humbling. When we are used to doing everything, it can be humbling when suddenly we can’t because of our health. When I had tested positive for COVID-19 last September, I never would have imagined that I would be sick for more than two weeks or become a COVID-19 long hauler. I never would have thought that being sick for that long would set into motion some drastic life changes, such as a move to another state.

The Lord gives us strength in sickness and health. He knows our thoughts and fears and can heal us from any ailment. We can be grateful when our health returns. When He lifts us up, He lifts us physically and mentally. Amen. 

Prayer Journal: Day 221

Day 221

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5 NIV

The Holy Spirit is a manifestation of God’s love. He helps us when we are disappointed. He guides us when we are in transition. Our Lord gives us hope.

Instead of focusing on our problems, we can fixate on our blessings. 

Today is moving day into my new home in Idaho. It is okay to be busy and have a lot to do. God can always give us just enough strength that we need to get what we need to do done. Amen.

Prayer Journal: Day 217

Day 217

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. – Jeremiah 31:3 KJV

The Lord’s love for us lasts forever. He will never get tired of loving us. He will never be too busy to hear our prayers. 

Our God is kind. He made us good. When we find ourselves wondering how we will handle all the changes in our lives, we can simply stop and remember that we can always trust Him.

Transitions can feel uncertain. When we move to a different state, the roads are unfamiliar, but God always knows where He is going. He is never unsure where He is leading us. His GPS never has to recalculate, because He is always on track. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and makes sure we won’t get lost. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Amen. 

Prayer Journal: Day 211

Day 211

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness. – Psalms 89:15‭-‬16 NIV

We need God’s light. Without light, it is difficult to walk without stumbling. 

Sometimes we create our own darkness. We allow others to disrupt our thoughts. The Lord sees us clearly and knows what is going on. He knows our thoughts. God knows our prayers even before we utter them. 

His name is precious. One of the commandments is to refrain from taking the Lord’s name in vain. When we resent someone, it is tempting to call him or her a bad name, but God asks us to love, not to say words out of resentment. The Spirit of the Lord wants peace for us, and we need to be watchful of the words we say and think.

Jesus is worthy of acclaim. His actions and words are without fault. The more we think about Him, the more we become like Him and appreciate what He sacrificed for us. If we spent all day praising Him, how would our lives change? Amen. 

Prayer Journal: Day 209

Day 209

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. – Hebrews 12:15 NIV 

Sometimes change can be bittersweet. 

We need to be careful to always thank God and not dwell on the past or harbor bitterness towards someone who hurt us in the past. 

In order to move on, we need to listen to God’s voice at the present moment. 

The past gives us lessons but we need to be aware that sometimes our thoughts cause us to live in the past.

God’s grace is available to us right now.

When we love the Lord, we all things are made new. We can be excited about the changes that God brings to our lives. They are changes for the better. Amen. 

Prayer Journal: Day 208

Day 208

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. – 1 Peter 1:8‭-‬9 NIV

We love Jesus even though we don’t see Him in person every day. It is possible to be best friends with someone who we appreciate and enjoy talking to, even if we can’t see them all the time. 

Our friendship and faith in Jesus can give us joy and brighten a dark world. We can feel safe that He is with us always. 

Although change can mean that we don’t do what we have been accustomed to doing, we can embrace the change knowing that God is bringing into our lives new opportunities. He is the great Creator. He is creating in us a new heart. His love for us shines through our friendships. His love endures forever. Amen. 

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