Through the waters...

Pain, anxiety, worries all flooding my mind.

I can't do this. I can't do this. Lord, why is there always pain? Always fears? Lack of trust? Lack of confidence in You? in me?

Opening my Bible. Daily devotionals. Eyes look over a verse...

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you." - Isaiah 43:2

Explanation of the verse? We will go through waters, and rivers, and fire, but God will be with us and will not allow us to be overcome. He'll be with us.

It's my lack of faith and trust that allows the anxieties and fears to take over, but it's my God that stands firm and says, "Be still." and then helps me to do that.

Take heart, friend. If the anxieties are flooding over you today, ask for help. He is with us and we can trust Him. He is our hope. <3


Doing the hard, weird things

Today I did something a little weird (for myself and definitely for the world).

I prayed for someone who hurt me and I struggle (a ton!) to love. Even typing that sentence hurts. Because in my mind they don't deserve love.

But in reality neither do I.

So I prayed for them and I really didn't feel too much better, but I did feel a little relief (call it more of God's grace?). I felt a little more peaceful. And though the tears threatened to roll, I knew that this was what He told me to do and so I must.

Why am I telling you this? Not to toot my horn and say, "Be like me." but to say look at how our Lord can strengthen us to do the really hard things that hurt. Look how He can show us His strength and power and healing and grace. Look how once you've been graced, you can show grace.

What's hard for you right now and downright painful? Maybe you're not completely at that point where you can pray for someone who has hurt you (it's taken a few weeks of wrestling for me), but maybe you can ask God to help you reach that point... because He will. Grace to you.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13


Perfectionism- the good and bad of it

Perfectionism can be such a thief in life.

But can I tell you a secret? When I'm being really honest I can admit to the fact that perfection is what I crave and desire... A LOT of the time.

One mess up and I'm ready to go back to start because life is a lot easier when you can start over and not have to deal with the mess. But real life? Yeah, real life means you don't get to go back to start, but you do get to see how the Redeemer does His work and how He uses bad things for good in our lives.

Perfection robs us of experiencing true grace. It robs us from seeing true Grace.

However, you know what perfection also does? When we strive for it, and fail to measure up to it, we get a deeper understanding of just how awesome Christ is. For every way I fall short, He intervenes and stands in my place. Um, yeah, I still can't grasp that, but seriously- wow!

Why did I write this post? Well, for a few reasons:

1. It's been on my mind.
2. I haven't written a blog post in a while and I thought I should.
3. Because I want to remind myself and you that's it's okay to not measure up or be perfect because our Father God already knew that when Jesus took the cross. Hallelujah.

Happy Sunday!


Be still my soul {devotional} - book review

I've always loved music. Ever since I was a little girl my radio and I have been attached. So you can imagine that when I found a devotional that includes many different hymns and the stories behind them (eeek!), I was pretty stoked.

There's a writer inside us all that dreams of amazing stories and this devotional has told many, many of them. From Fanny Crosby to John Newton to the anonymous people that wrote words that touch the soul at it's core, we find amazing stories of faith, fear, truth, and our Redeemer.

I've been reading a page each day since I got this devotional and each day I am both challenged and encouraged by what I've read. It's amazing what happens when we surrender to the Lord (though I am not saying it's easy) and how He works through all of us broken ones.

If you're still looking for a devotional, I would really recommend this one. If you know someone who likes stories and music this would be a great gift for them... and you. ;)

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of a review. All views expressed are mine.


A Godward Heart - Book Review

John Piper has to be one of my all time favorite authors and pastors. He can put things so profoundly and yet still keep it simple for those of us who don't have theology degrees.

When I saw A Godward Heart up for review I knew I had to get it. When I realized it was a devotional, I thought, "Even better." As soon as it came I started it that night. I have not been a bit disappointed with it.

John Piper has chosen several different things he's talked about before and put it into short and concise devotional form. The point? To treasure God more and more each day. For us who live in the world but fight not to be like it, this proves to be quite the task that we cannot do apart from Him (Jesus). I've found this devotional to be a great tool to help with that.

If you're looking for a new devotional (we're still at the beginning of the year, so I'm sure there's a few out there still looking) or you have a friend looking for one, pick this up (and maybe pick up a copy for yourself?). Definitely won't be disappointed.

*Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of a review.


Why I can't help you...

Why do we think that we can't run along someone who is struggling with the same thing that we are still struggling with?

Yes. I just asked that. Because for the past week I've been wanting to write this post and haven't. I asked that question because I think it reveals something about my heart and maybe yours- we think we don't need saving because we are the savior. That's not to be blasphemous or anything of the sort.

I'm saying that sometimes I see somebody struggling with the same thing I am and because I'm either afraid to tell them that I'm having the same problem and break that, "I-can-handle-anything, I've-got-it-all-together" look, or because I don't think there's anything I can do, I remain silent and sit on it for weeks, months, years, until later on I wish I had told them they weren't alone. Those three words: you aren't alone, can be the greatest comfort in times of struggle.

Back to my question. Do you think that we can help others who are struggling with something we still struggle with? That depends. Do you think that you can save them? When we believe ourselves to be the Savior (and we aren't.) then we believe we can save and therefore, friends, we cannot help them at all. But when we come alongside them and tell them, "Hey, you're not alone. I struggle with this, but let's pray about it together and go to God's Word and seek His face and see how He works." then not only are we helping them, we are also helping ourselves.

Kelly Needham is an excellent writer (definitely one of my faves and someone should notify her to write a book for real. ; ) ) and wrote this little gem earlier that I think fits well with this post. Go check it out.

I can't save anybody and neither can you. I don't have it all together. In fact, I am a huge mess every day pretty much and sometimes I cry just because I can, but I have a Savior who says, "Come to Me." He says come. No strings attached, just come. I'm still learning what it looks like to walk out this life for His glory and I fail so many times, but thank God, He gave us His Son and we can come to Him and find rest and life. We can run to Him together and watch Him work out our struggles for our good and His glory. Amen.