6 Scriptures to Read When You’re Sad


6 Bible verses to read when you feel sad. Whether you struggle with depression, or you are just going through a hard time, these scriptures will encourage and comfort you.

When we’re sad, it can be tempting to medicate our problems with temporary things—things that distract, things that make us numb. We turn to social media, to people, to food, to alcohol, to Netflix. But God’s Word is powerful, offering help and hope and healing that endure. Not easy fixes, but true comfort.

Here are some of my favorite scriptures that help me during dark times. I could have chosen six hundred verses, but we’ll limit ourselves to six. Most are short and simple. Some speak of God’s love and faithfulness and concern for us as individuals; others offer an eternal perspective on temporary troubles. I pray they minister to you as they have ministered to me.

1.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
  For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:4–5 NIV)

His favor lasts a lifetime…joy comes in the morning. 

2.

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
    you are the helper of the fatherless. (Psalm 10:14 NIV)

God sees us. He considers—takes time to ponder, to study, to care about—our grief. He carries us, and our sadness, in his capable hands. 

3.

 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Matthew 10:28–31 NLT)

God knows us—he knows us better than we know ourselves. (Do you know how many hairs are on your head?!). We are valuable to him. 


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4.

A slight twist on the familiar Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6 is most people’s go-to version, but I like some of Luke’s phrasing here): 

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:27–32 NIV)

How I love that sweet phrasing at the end: “little flock”! I can just see an affectionate twinkle in Jesus’ eyes as he spoke these words to the people he loved! And God is pleased to give us his kingdom, his best. 

5.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. . . . 

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:51–53, 56–58 NIV)

We will be changed! This world is not the end of us, and death holds no permanent power. Our labor for God is not in vain. 

6.

This one is a mouthful, but I just can’t abbreviate it. Hang with it till the end—you’ll be glad you did! It’s like taking a sip of water from a fire hydrant (an encouraging fire hydrant). 🙂 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,  just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3–12, NRSV)

Do you get what this is saying? Our salvation is no accident. We didn’t get lucky and slip past the sin detectors and sneak into the kingdom of God. Unworthy as we are, unworthy as we feel, God counts us worthy in Christ. He chose us, and he chose us on purpose! In fact, it made him happy to choose us (“he destined us for adoption…according to the good pleasure of his will”). And imperfect as we are, through Christ God makes us holy, gives us every spiritual blessing we need, and shows us off to the world as children who bring him glory. Our lives in Christ make God look good. Amazing!


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Outshine the Dark

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13 Reasons Moms Never Get Haircuts


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5 Bible Stories Boys Love


Bible stories for boys

Whenever I read the book of Exodus, I can’t help but picture a scene like this:

God and Jesus are hanging out in heaven, watching Moses step up and challenge Pharaoh. Moses thunders, “Let my people go! Or else…”

God rubs his chin and asks Jesus, “Or else what? Hmmm. How can I save My people AND tell a story that gets the attention of nine-year-old boys from every culture and generation, forever and ever, amen?”

Jesus leans in with a grin: “Three words, Dad: PLAGUE OF FROGS.”

how to help boys love the Bible

Boy reading Bible

Images courtesy of Pixabay.

The Bible is amazingly boy-friendly, if you know where to look. Its pages are packed with stories of flawed superheroes like Samson, exciting warriors like David, noble men like Joseph, and epic tales of battle, bravery, and adventure. By book two (Exodus), we’ve got gag-worthy plagues of frogs and bugs and blood. (And yes, I realize that not all boys love sword fights and bugs and such, but…humor me. I’m writing in broad strokes here, based on the boys in my life. And while we’re at it, yes, lots of girls will love these stories too—I sure did (I still do!). So there you have my politically correct disclaimer, ha!)

(And hey, if you have daughters, check out 13 Scriptures to Read with Your Daughter.)

But first, we can’t talk about teaching boys to love the Bible without recommending The Action Bible. And by recommending, I mean BUY IT TODAY, IT’S THAT AMAZING! (No, I’m not getting paid to say that.) The Action Bible is comic-book-meets-graphic-novel-meets-Bible-superheroes-with-huge-muscles. My kids ADORE this Bible—my older kids have both devoured it cover to cover.

I could list scores of exciting stories here, but for now, let’s start with five, all from the Old Testament. (Heads up: All of these stories have some violence in them, so you’ll have to decide what is appropriate for your child.)

Here are five Bible stories boys love, with some simple questions for discussion and application: 

1. Moses and the plagues (Exodus 7–12)  

These five chapters cover the plagues, but the chapters leading up to the plagues make for thrilling reading, too, and chapters 13 and 14 will get you to the mind-blowing Red Sea crossing. For younger kids, think through how you want to handle the plague of the firstborn—it’s heavy, and may be hard for sensitive kids to handle.

Questions for discussion: Why was Pharaoh so stubborn? What do these plagues show us about the patience of God and the power of God? Do you think it was scary for Moses to stand up to Pharaoh? Does God notice when his people go through hard times and ask him for help? (Take a quick peek at Exodus 3:7.) Do you think God notices when you go through hard times and need his help?

2. Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:8-15)

When we were little, my parents did a fun devotional where we acted out this story. My brothers held up my hands (oldest kid perk—I got to be Moses!), while my parents pretended to battle each other (hilarious).

Questions: Why do you think God wanted the battle to be won like this, with Moses’ hands held high? (Hint: Do you think he wanted the Israelites to realize that they always needed to rely on Him to help them win their battles?) What can we learn about teamwork from Aaron and Hur? Even though Joshua was the one leading the army, would he have been able to win the battle without help from friends like Moses, Aaron, and Hur? How can you be a better team player at school, at home, or in sports?


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devotions for boys

3. Elijah and the Fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18:16–46)

If you are unfamiliar with this passage, I recommend reading 1 Kings 17–19 to give yourself the story’s context, and also James 5:13–18, which illuminates an important lesson. This will prepare you to answer any questions your child may have. This Bible story is wild, with some intense moments and bloodshed (for younger kids, you could stop the story at verse 39). But there’s lots of high-energy drama, and even some humor.

Questions: What did Elijah mean when he said “How long will you waver between two opinions?” Have you ever been tempted to do what everyone else was doing, instead of following God’s way? Why did Elijah get the sacrifice all wet? What do you see about how powerful God is in this story? How many times did Elijah have to pray before God made it rain? What do you need to keep praying about in your life? (Read James 5:13–18 if you want to talk more about the power of prayer in this story.)

4. Gideon (Judges 6–7) 

My son and I just read this story—he’s working on developing courage, and not worrying so much about what his friends think of him. He loved seeing how Gideon’s faith and courage grew over time.

Questions: Was Gideon brave when God first called him? How did God respond when Gideon had doubts and needed encouragement? Have you ever had doubts or questions about God? (If so, what are they?) Why do you think God kept making Gideon’s army smaller and smaller? How do you think Gideon felt when his army shrank from thousands down to 300? How do you think Gideon felt when God told him his battle plan? Who wins battles—people or God? Do you need God’s help to win any “battles” in your life right now?

5. David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

Of course, no list of Bible stories boys love would be complete without David and Goliath!

Questions: Why were all the Israelites so afraid of Goliath? What would have happened if Goliath had won this battle? Why was David so brave? How did David prepare for this battle back when he was just a shepherd boy, hanging out with sheep? How can faith in God give us courage? Are you facing any situations right now where you need God’s help to stand up for what’s right, or to be brave? (For another boy-friendly devotional that uses David’s story, see How We Helped Our Son Overcome a Gaming Obsession.)

I hope these stories help you teach your kids to love the Bible, and give them ideas for how to apply it to their daily life! If you try these discussions out with your family, let me know how it goes! I love hearing from you.


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Two-Minute Devotions

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How We Helped Our Son Overcome a Gaming Obsession


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20 Things that Do Not Go Together in the Parent-Kid Universe


things that don't go together via @lizzylit

I usually write lists of 13, but when it comes to the parent-kid universe, there are sooooo many things that don’t go together—eventually I had to make myself stop at 20.

  1. Motherhood and white pants.

  2. A wad of toilet paper and the washing machine.

  3. Carpet and Play-Doh  Kool-aid  milk  children.

  4. A five-month-old in your arms, and dangly earrings in your ears.

  5. A grumpy baby and a crowded airplane.

  6. A child with a runny nose looking for a snuggle, and your best black shirt.

  7. A trip to Target and a barely-there bank balance.

  8. Potty trainers and public bathrooms.

  9. Poop and Pull-ups.

  10. Poop and swim diapers.

  11. A potty trainer who needs to poop (but can’t or won’t tell you they need to poop), and a nice relaxing bubble bath with their sibling… Okay, I’ll stop with the poop theme now. Sorry. It’s just, some days it seems my entire life revolves around poop. @lizzylit

  12. A bowl of apples on the table, and a hungry toddler who has learned to climb.

    IMG_4525

  13. Pacifiers and babies with stuffy noses.IMG_1736

  14. Toddlers and food.@lizzylit

  15. Toddlers and sand.things that don't go together via @lizzylit

  16. Toddlers and “no.”Strategies for dealing with whiny behavior in children

  17. Toddlers and paint.toddlers and markers

  18. Toddlers and crayons.When plans go wrong

  19. Toddlers and makeup.Baby Gaga

  20. Toddlers and pens.when you give a toddler a pen

See what I mean? We could go on like this for days. The point is: Babies and toddlers and the real world . . . a messy, dangerous, but hilarious combination. No wonder we’re so tired. Let’s all go take a nap.


If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

13 Ridiculous Things Smart Moms Understand

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Before you leave, don’t forget to sign up for my monthly parenting newsletter. Recent newsletter topics have included 5 Ways to Help Siblings Become Friends and 6 Simple Ways to Teach Kids to Walk with God. As a welcome gift, you’ll receive a free download: 7 Two-Minute Devotions to Do Around the Breakfast Table with Kids!


The 13 Inventions Moms Really Need


inventions moms need

1. Clear ketchup.

2. Shots that tickle.

3. Sugar-free, vitamin-filled, cavity-fighting lollipops that coat kids’ teeth in the perfect level of fluoride.

4. Emergency toilet paper and diaper air-drop delivery. Your nine-year-old used up the last square of toilet paper just before bedtime? No problem. No need to resort to tissues or—heaven forbid—paper towels. Call the air drop hotline, and an emergency super-soft eight-pack will land in your front yard within five minutes. Your husband forgot to mention that he used the last diaper while you were out, and every diaper bag has already been cleaned out? No problem. Call the airdrop hotline. (For a small additional fee, milk, bread, children’s ibuprofen, humidifiers, and poster board for your fifth grader’s last-minute school project can also be air-dropped.)

5. A drive-thru kid-wash. Hold child out the car window—or better yet, buckle them into a small bucket seat that attaches to the side of your minivan, like a motorcycle sidecar—and then kids go for a fun ride! While Mom and Dad put the van in neutral and relax inside, rocking out to non-kid music and munching on hors d’oeuvres, the happy child gets sprayed by colorful soap bubbles, tickled and cleaned by a fun scrub brush, and gently blown dry. For an extra fee, their teeth can get brushed and flossed, too. When you pull the child back inside the van, they are ready for bed: clothed in fresh pajamas, hair combed, teeth shining. The minute you get home, you can toss a clean, happy child in the bed.

6. An instant food lukewarmifier. What’s a food lukewarmifier? It immediately heats or cools any food to that perfect but elusive lukewarm temperature that picky kids demand. No need to cook your child’s food, then put it in the freezer for a never-fast-enough cool-down, only to find that you’ve over-cooled it, and now you have to microwave it all over again for exactly nine point two seconds. All while your starving toddler shrieks and stabs your table with their baby fork.

7. Pacifiers that gradually wean the child automatically: Like, maybe the pacifier begins to release a gross-tasting flavor (probably kale) when the child reaches 18 months of age. After a few hours or days of this flavor, the toddler decides, “Hey, I don’t like my pacifier anymore. All done. Habit broken. Now Mommy doesn’t have to get a second job to fund my braces.”

8. Emergency mute buttons for children. For those humiliating parenting moments when your child points at a stranger and shouts something horrifying like, “Look, Mommy! That man has a baby in his tummy!” These buttons would come with remote controls that reach to the back of the car, across the dinner table, even across the playground or shopping mall.

9. Family-size invisibility shields (complete with sound barriers). Press a button, up goes the shield, and voilà—instant privacy. Your kid starts throwing an epic tantrum in public, and you can’t properly deal with them while all the bystanders are glaring at you and judging your parenting? Shields up! Your potty-trainer yanks down their Pull-Up and tries to use a potted plant in the mall for a toilet? Shields up! Your child goes digging for gold in their nose in the middle of a restaurant? Shields up! Your toddler walks up behind you, goes for a hug, but accidentally hikes your skirt up for the whole world to see? Shields up!

10. Cough medicine for babies that is safe and homeopathic and actually works. Because BABIES COUGH ALL THE TIME, ALL NIGHT LONG, WHENEVER THEY GET THE SLIGHTEST SNIFFLE, AND NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE SAY, HONEY AND VICKS BABY RUB DON’T HELP AT ALL. (Okay. Rant over.)

11. Mad-Eye Moody Eyeballs for moms—you know, from Harry Potter. These magical eyeballs can roll 360 degrees, see through the back of your head, and even spy on people through walls. (Ideally, you would be able to assign a different Mad-Eye Moody Eyeball to each of your children, to help you keep track of multiple kids at once on crowded playgrounds.)

12. Go-Go-Gadget Arms. You remember, from the classic 80s cartoon “Inspector Gadget” (recently revived on Netflix). These arms can extend like 50 feet in any direction, even around corners, to rescue people and grasp unreachable things. These arms can morph into drills, screwdrivers, crock pots, dental equipment—whatever shape you might need. A pair of Go-Go-Gadget Arms would especially come in handy while driving with children in the backseat: Toddler drops pacifier on minivan floor and begins to shriek? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue! Three-year-old gags on a piece of apple and may need the Heimlich maneuver while you’re doing 65 on the Interstate? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue! Six-year-old can’t put straw in juice box and has a meltdown? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue! Brother keeps pinching sister and making her cry in the back seat? Go-Go-Gadget Arms to the rescue!

13. Emotionally intelligent holograms of Mommy that can attend any function with your children, for those times when you need to be at two field days, one swim meet, one parent-teacher conference, and a piano lesson all at the same time. A basic hologram would not do. The hologram must be empathetic: able to comfort the child who has lost the sack race; cheer enthusiastically for the child who has won third place in the 50 backstroke; nod and “hmm” at everything the teacher says; and commiserate with (while also gently disciplining) the child who forgot to practice piano this week.

Okay, your turn: What inventions do you really need to help you survive motherhood?


Before you go, don’t forget to sign up for the monthly LizzyLife newsletter! As a free gift, you’ll receive a free download of seven two-minute devotions to do with kids around the breakfast table.


If you liked this post, you’ll also enjoy:

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On Pinkeye, Lice, and Love

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 inventions moms need


13 Ridiculous Things Smart Moms Understand


when you give a toddler a pen

1. Why you never say the word hair at the table while a toddler is eating.
2. How to make the one last baby wipe in the container do things one poor lonely wipe was never intended to do.
3. The complex mechanics, athleticism, and grace required to cradle a sanity-saving cup of coffee in one hand while backing through a narrow doorway, holding the door open with your rear end, all while steering the stroller one-handed and herding a second (and possibly third and fourth, God help us) child(ren) with a spare pinky finger.
4. Diaper pails DO NOT WORK, no matter how expensive they are, or how extravagant their claims about how the aerodynamic pail also serves as a night light, smoke detector and life raft, and how it can count the number of dirty diapers in Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic, and trap odor and lock it inside a fresh-scented bag. Fresh-scented, my foot. Fresh as a landfill in July.
5. Dirty laundry breeds in the night.
6. There really is no need to rinse off a pacifier that falls to the ground, unless other people are around to watch you and judge your parenting.
7. All those “experts” who claim they know how to get kids to eat a well-rounded diet filled with exotic organic vegetables every color of the rainbow are either a) lying, or b) engaging in dangerous force-feeding behavior, most likely involving pliers.
8. Those white outfits we can’t resist buying our children because they look oh-so-adorable in family beach photos . . . yeah, they’ll only be worn once. After that, they’ll be brown and white polka-dotted outfits. (We understand this . . . but still we buy them. Blame your friends’ daggum beach photos.)
9. You should never sniff or lick any brown substance you find on your kitchen table, even if you’re SURE it is chocolate pudding. (Yep. Learned this the hard way.)
10. The kids’ rooms in Pottery Barn catalogs are fake, uninhabited rooms. It is highly possible that the children in Pottery Barn catalogs are also fake.
11. There’s no point in putting shoes on a baby before you drive somewhere—unless you like getting places and discovering that your baby is barefoot and your car has eaten one of the shoes. (If you’re lucky, the shoe will reappear one day, but only after your child has outgrown it.) And the same principle holds true for hair bows.
12. The person who invented baby vitamin drops had no taste buds, and thought babies are stupid. The stuff tastes like motor oil. No self-respecting infant will eat it.
13. Your own mother was a really smart woman after all. (This one’s not ridiculous . . . just true.)

Happy (almost) Mother’s Day to all the smart moms out there. 

If you enjoyed this, you’ll also enjoy On Pink Eye, Lice, and Love and The 13 Thou Shalt Nots of the Family Dinner Table. 

Before you leave, don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. As a welcome gift, you’ll receive seven two-minute devotions to do around the breakfast table with your kids! And every month, you’ll get a newsletter with parenting tips. You can subscribe here, or in the widget in the left sidebar.

Note: A version of this post appeared last year on my old website, and I thought all the new LizzyLife readers would enjoy it!