10.30.2013

My "Other Half"

About two years ago I met a guy that I went to church with. We became friends and started talking; soon, I started liking him. After about three months of talking he asked me out. I accepted and we started dating.
 
My days were quickly filled with thinking about him, hanging out with him, going on dates with him, talking on the phone with him, etc. My whole life began revolving around this person. I still read my Bible, went to church, prayed, but my focus was not centered and set on Jesus Christ...

Today I'm guest posting on the lovely Yelena's blog. Read the rest here.

10.27.2013

I'll be single for You

There are things the Lord speaks specifically to us that is meant for us and no one else (or maybe the better way to put that is no one around you currently).

For me that's being single.

Several years ago the Lord showed me that being single for Him is a gift. However, at times that gift has felt like anything but. To deny your flesh its wants is to pick up a sword and swing. The battle is tough, but Christ in us has won the victory.

So, the past few weeks I've been battling back and forth with my heart, mind, and soul. They have tugged on each other so much that at times all I could do was collapse on my floor and pray.

When God told me that part of His plan for my life was that "undivided devotion" that Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 7 (verse 35), I was alright with that. I was excited! Now that I'm older and watch friends date and get married I have to ask myself- am I still excited to be single for the cause of the Kingdom?

I have asked myself that question several times and here's the answer:
yes.

While at times it's discouraging and painful and scary, I know He is equipping me for the task He has in mind. Though I have a small idea of what that looks like, He sees the big picture and I bet it's far better than I could imagine.

My prayer tonight is simple but heartfelt: I'll be single for You if it means being in Your will.

That's it.

What's He speaking to you that you need to give in to? You never know how 1 month or 5 years down the road He will use that very thing to advance His kingdom, change your life, and use you to change others. Submit.

10.26.2013

Empty me of me

I can be so selfish sometimes.

Exercising for hours to keep myself from being fat while there are babies everywhere starving for food (and love).

Praying for a new _______ fill the blank when there are mothers-to-be crying tears for their child who died before they even got to name them.

Crying tears because I didn't get my way again and there are people everywhere seeking direction for the way (Jesus!).

To recognize these issues in my life is a good thing. To recognize these issues in other people's lives is another good thing. What's not good is pretending that neither exist and neither are important. To pretend these issues don't exist is to say that you don't think you're important or other people. As a child of the King my life matters. As people made in the image of God, so does theirs.

That's the problem with being selfish. We forget that the world doesn't revolve around us and that other people matter too. We forget that God has a plan for each of us and sometimes (most of the time) His plan includes other people working together to find His heartbeat.

At the end day one thing remains true for all people; believers and non-believers alike. We need Jesus Christ. Every moment of every day.

Because just like the babies that are starving need Jesus to send someone to provide them with food, I need Jesus to help me see myself as the fearfully and wonderfully made daughter of God that I am.

I need to be emptied of myself. Emptied of my petty pride. Emptied of the word "mine". What do I have that God hasn't blessed me with? How I live with tightly clenched hands holding to His gifts instead of His hands.

So I open my hands and I open my heart before a God who understands the courage it takes to do both and I pray:

 "Lord, empty me of me."

10.23.2013

Word Vomit...? Yes.

I'm on my knees again.

Funny how the place I need to be most is the place I most dislike to be.

Because I'm an "independent" woman, having been raised to do what I can do and attempt the things I'm not sure I can. Because when I failed, crying wasn't an option, getting up and trying again was my way.

But sometimes you can't do things. Sometimes you fail and all you can do is cry out in prayer to the LORD. What then?

Sometimes I base my worth and whether God is pleased with me based on how much I got done in a day. If the to-do list is still just as long as it was when I first began the day, somehow it seems like God is frowning.

What if, regardless of how much we did or didn't get done today, God was still pleased? What if we learned the secret to doing all things- big, small, indifferent- for His glory?

Colossians 3:23-24,
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."

I'm a  firm believer that if it were impossible to do all things to glorify Christ, then this verse wouldn't be in the Bible. Our problem is we want to get everything done and then some, all in our own strength. We can't do anything apart from Jesus. He told us that! So why in the world do we think that we can do anything without Him?

I gotta be real with y'all and let you know that I've been getting sidetracked and distracted a lot the past few weeks. It's been on again, off again, on again, with the distraction train. It's hard to build friendships that are centered on Christ and stay centered on Christ. It's hard to roll out of bed in the morning to go to work when you're battling the lies of deception. It's hard to tell someone you love the things that will probably hurt them most... but might change their lives.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:18

Will join with me in praying for the LORD to help us see the unseen and do things that last eternally?

Jesus,
thank You for the trials in our lives that remind us to come to You because on our own we can do nothing. Thank You for granting us favor in the eyes of the Father because of Your sacrifice on the cross. Let us passionately take up our crosses, denying our flesh, and follow You today into the unknown. Help us see the unseen and form relationships that will last beyond this earth. Thank you for another sweet day to be in Your presence.
Amen.

Be a good steward of your time today. Glorify Christ.

10.22.2013

Examine Your Faith - Book Review

Examine Your Faith: finding truth in a world of lies* by Pamela Christian is a work of art.

To be honest I was both excited and scared to read this book. Pamela is very up front that you'll be uncomfortable at some point while you're reading the book, but, as she pointed out, if you don't examine what you believe now, you'll be forced to do so later.

Pam takes you through the 6 major religions of the world and respectfully shares what each belief system of those religions are, where they originated from, etc. I found that section of the book especially helpful. She follows up with sharing several testimonies of people who started out in one of the major 6 religions and later comes to know the One True God.

I have been both challenged and encouraged while reading this book. I was encouraged to see how solid the Christian faith is. I was challenged because you are still forced to ask questions that you aren't comfortable with and continue seeking Him despite the hard things.

Highly, highly recommend to everyone. Very insightful, easy to understand, and eternally- it matters.

*The first e-book I've ever read. Holla! (I'll stick with paperbacks though. ;) )

**I received a free e-book for the exchange of a review. All opinions and views expressed in this review are mine.

10.18.2013

I'm In Love With A Church Girl (Trailer)


Happy Friday, ladies and gents! Wanted to share this movie trailer with y'all. Looks like a great movie, doesn't it?! Leave me a comment if you go and see it. Would love to hear what you think! Have a blessed weekend! <3

10.17.2013

A Note Of Encouragement

Following Jesus requires sacrifice. Some are easier than others but all are necessary. I think sometimes we need the reminder that Jesus is worth it. That He won't give us anything too hard to handle with Him by our side. That He is enough.

But there will be days where He doesn't seem enough and life gets you down. There will be days where your pants fit too tight, everybody seems to be "hating", and all you want to do is stop. Don't.

We must learn to live by His truth regardless of our feelings.

Easy? No way. Important? Very much so.

Learning to live with His agenda in mind regardless of what's going on around you is not easy but I believe our Heavenly Father provides everything we need for every situation we go through. I believe that living life to His glory and for His kingdom is far more satisfying and blesses us more than we probably will ever know this side of Heaven.

Baby, drink deeply of His grace. Hold on. Know that He's been pursuing you and holding on to you all your life. You are loved. Keep pressing on because He will get you through. <3

10.07.2013

Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Story - Monday Reflections

We all have a story. All of us are at some point in that story. Some of us are grieving, others are joyful. Some of us are praising, others are complaining. Some of us are struggling and some have just gotten out of a struggle.

All of us have a story that will be or is worth telling.

What I've learned and continue to be reminded of is that God knows our mistakes, He sees our failures and yet His plan isn't ruined by what we do. Read that again. His plan isn't ruined by what we do. Sure, we can make a simple path into a much more difficult one (are the Israelites coming to anybody else's mind?), but He still has a plan.

Some of you have, like me, looked back over the past few years of your story and grimaced. You may still do that when you look at your present. You see the failures, the mistakes, the ugly. We are far too self-centered. Instead we should redirect our focus to His hand of grace over and on our lives. Those mistakes and pains- have they brought you closer to God? Has He used those things to teach you lessons? Have you become better and wiser for them? PRAISE GOD. You can be disappointed in what you've done but you can't be disappointed with what God is doing because when He's done you will be a beautiful masterpiece of holiness. Not perfect this side of Heaven, but made new in the blood of the Lamb.

So don't be ashamed of your story. You can dislike things you've done in the past, but you can just as well praise God for how He has used those things to make you better. He uses even the bad for good. Thank You, Lord!


10.03.2013

Trials and thanks

I woke up this morning with discouragement pitted deep within my stomach.

Discouragement is not of God. Resist it.

I get out of bed and start praying because I can do nothing on my own and know how much I need Him. These trials are mere reminders. Little gifts of grace.

As I am praying the Lord reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for. How many times have I complained this week? this month? this year? TOO much.

I get saddened and even more discouraged but why should the mistakes of my past dictate the promises and hopes for the future?

So I write:
Lord, there is so much to be thankful for in this day. Help me to find those things and thank You for them.

I've gone through this day seeking to be a little more thankful to my Beloved, my Savior. Have I failed? Yes. Did I thank Him more today than yesterday? That remains to be seen. However, step-by-step I am seeking to praise Him in the little things as well as the big in each day.

Lord Jesus, help me.

What are you thankful for? Have you complained more than you've thanked the Lord? How can you move towards thankfulness and away from complaints?

10.01.2013

The Governess of Highland Hall - Book Review

The Governess of Highland Hall is a charming story of a young missionary woman named Julia who finds herself as a governess at Highland Hall. There she meets a man named William who happens to run Highland. Sparks fly, troubles are encountered and faith is tested.

Carrie Turansky does a wonderful job on this page turning, keeps-you-interested- until-the-very-end, novel. I really  couldn't put it down! Carrie brings a Downton Abbey feel to the book while bringing faith into the picture and allowing her characters to take you on their personal journeys of trusting the Lord.


Every character is easy to love (well, almost every one of them... Katherine takes a little longer to love as well as Lady Gatewood) and each bond that forms between the characters will leave you hungry for more.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for a second one to come out! Be sure to grab this book October 15th at your nearest book store. You won't regret it!

*I received this book for free for the exchange of a review.