Friday, September 13, 2019

True Contentment

I’m a fixer by nature. When something is broken or not working well, I work hard to find a solution. While reading this verse in 1 Corinthians 7:17 in The Message this morning it made me think about my tendency to want to change or fix circumstances or situations (even people) in my life:

"And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. "

Reading this made me think....What if those circumstances that we don’t like, are exactly where God wants us to be- at least for a time?

God created each of us uniquely and calls us to live the life we are given- not to compare ours with our neighbor or friend or FB or IG friend who looks like their life is perfect- because here's a news flash: IT IS NOT. Each of us has a purpose and God has given each of us a unique perspective, value, insight, and set of experiences that no one else in the entire world has. When we live out that God given purpose, IN the circumstances He has given us or allowed to happen to us (even when they are stinky), it gives us the opportunity to point those who look at our lives and wonder how we can manage those situations to Jesus. God can and will use our struggles and challenges for His glory- we just have to allow Him to.

So that’s my prayer for us today friends. That we are reminded to be content in our unique calling. That rather than striving to gain more things, a better position, or a change in our lives, we serve the Lord with thankfulness and gratitude for wherever he has placed us. That we are reminded that true contentment comes only through Jesus Christ, as we faithfully serve him in our present circumstances.

Friday, August 30, 2019

September Scripture Writing Plan: God Can Make a Way

Happy almost September friends! 
The scripture plan this month is something I've been thinking about 
and studying over the past 6 months: 
God Can Make a Way! 

Have you ever been in a difficult time or situation 
and there seems to literally be NO way out? 
Where you look at the circumstances and think "Nope, it is not possible to fix this"? 
Some situations seem (and are) completely impossible in this world. 
Situations where there truly is no way through or out. 
No way- outside of the almighty and all powerful God. 
Because the good news is....
God CAN make a way where there is no way. 
God WILL make a way where there is no way. 

Many years ago my sweet husband had a heart issue while we were traveling that landed him in the ER. The heart issue was quickly checked out and he was given a clean bill of health but as a result of that episode he became super fearful of traveling. Crazy super fearful. He began to worry that something would happen to him while on the road and he started having panic attacks. Over time the attacks became more frequent and severe and after trying a few medicines and going to see several doctors he got to a point where he wouldn't leave town- at all. No going on vacation, no going to visit family or friends. No going anywhere at all. Ever. As you can imagine this was hard on our family. As someone who doesn't suffer from anxiety it was hard for me to understand- even though I definitely tried. I prayed and prayed and prayed that God would help him overcome this problem but he still struggled.  For almost 10 years he didn't leave our town. At all. 

When I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013 and had surgery scheduled in Houston for Sept. at MD Anderson I was terrified. One day my daughter asked me "Is dad going to go to Houston for your surgery?". I answered her honestly saying I hadn't asked him because I didn't want to hear the answer- fearing it would be a no- because I wasn't sure how in the world I would do it without him. One Saturday prior to surgery as I was cleaning out a closet (random fact: before my surgery I cleaned out EVERY single closet and cabinet and drawer in my house- just in case something happened to me I didn't want anyone to have to deal with my mess!) Tony came in and said...."I'm going to take a pill now and see how it makes me feel". He had been given a new medicine to try for his panic attacks but prior to that day he had never tried it. I asked why he was taking a pill and he said "Because you are having brain surgery in Houston and obviously I'm going to Houston with you." (cue the BIG ugly cry tears of relief) along with a look of duh on his face. Long story short- he took the medicine and we drove out of town the next day and he has been driving out of town ever since.  We've taken trips to see family and friends, multiple vacations and he no longer even takes medicine when we travel. What seemed like an impossible situation- one that after almost 10 years of praying for I had grown weary of- was fixed, just like that. 
God made a way where there seemed to be no way! 

Think of all the times in the bible that God made a way where there seemed to be no way….

He split the seat
He moved mountains
He walked on water
He tore the veil
He healed the sick
He conquered giants
He closed the mouths of lions
He opened prison doors
He calmed the raging seas

God is a God of miracles. He can make a way where there is no way. He works in ways that we cannot see or begin to understand. I'm so thankful that God's word is full of examples of how God made a way where there was no way! My prayer is that this month we dig into the many reminders in God's word that He is almighty and all powerful and that He can make a way 
where there seems to be no way. NOTHING is impossible for God!

FYI: I made the plan 31 days and plan to do that with
all topical plans in the future so that they can be done any month-
not just the month I write them for.

TO PRINT: You can find a copy of the plan in the folder HERE.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

He Fights My Battles

I'm a fixer by nature. If there's a problem and things seem out of control, I want to find a solution. ASAP. Stat. Immediately. And sometimes that can be a good thing. Have a technology issue or task you are trying to accomplish? I'm your girl. Have a party you want to plan and need some creative, inexpensive ideas? I'm your girl. Have a care package you want to send and need some fun theme for it? I'm your girl.

But other times, when the battle is NOT mine? That tendency? It's not so good. (#ugh). This morning as I tried to mentally prepare for my CASA trial this afternoon, God gently reminded me that the battle isn't mine to fight. 

2 Chronicles 20:15 says...
Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.

Many times I get frustrated trying to fix things (and people!) and fight battles that are not mine to fight. To meddle in things that God is working in and through. To allow Him to work in His mighty and powerful ways. I love this verse so because it's a beautiful reminder that Jesus has already won victory over EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that this life and world can throw at us. He has fought and WON against everything- marriage difficulties, financial struggles, cancer- EVERYTHING.

Today I continued on reading and loved verse 17 which says....
"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

Just like the verses above say, all we have to do is trust Him, take our positions, and stand firm in His promises, His plan, His almighty power. And then just stand and watch. The battle is His and my job is to trust and believe in His promises- even in the fact of hopelessness and what seems impossible. Because nothing is impossible for Him! My prayer for us today is that we are able to hold fast to this promise. To trust Him, rest in Him, and reject the lies that Satan tries to get us to believe. To sit still and expectant- knowing He will fight for us.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Overcomer (& a Giveaway!)

I've been a fan of the Kendrick Brother movies since the beginning. In our home if we come across any of their movies on TV (Fireproof, War Room, Courageous, Facing the Giants) we always stop and watch them, no matter what part of the movie it is in. We truly love them because of the incredible message in each one- a message that clearly points the viewer to Jesus. I was so excited to hear that they have a new movie releasing this Friday August 23rd, Overcomer!

Overcomer is the story of high school basketball coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team's state championship dreams are crushed. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth… until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.

The message of Overcomer is one that will leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?  What a fabulous movie to watch at the beginning of a new school year with your kids!

The Overcomer website also includes tons of great resources including a Family Guide, Team Devotional Guide, and a Parent Guide.

Interested in winning two tickets to go see Overcomer? 
Join me over on Instagram where I'm giving away two tickets! 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No Canadian winners please, Fandango does not reach to our Canadian friends.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

If He said it, he will do it!

As a child I am embarrassed to admit that I truly believed that when I was an adult I would know all the answers and have everything (money, relationships, work, etc) all figured out. (Come on, didn't you think that too?) I crack up thinking back to that naive little girl (bless her sweet heart for thinking that) because my middle age self knows now that that will NEVER happen. Honestly I spend most of my days feeling like I am failing the many tasks and responsibilities on my plate. I run around trying to juggle everything (work, family, home, ministry, friendships, volunteer work, CASA, Chrissy's Closet, etc) dropping balls and failing oh so very often. As a reforming people pleaser, type A personality I struggle with not having all my ducks in a row and everything figured out. I so often need the reminder that I don't have to be or feel qualified to do what God is calling me to do- just obedient and willing. If He calls me, HE will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 says: 
"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." NIV
"The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!" The Message
This is one of my favorite of all verses (it's been on my desk for as long as I can remember) and one that I cling to when I feel like I am not equipped or prepared or able to do what God has before me {which is SO VERY OFTEN- today included!}. There is such comfort in the reminder that it's not up to me!
My prayer today is that we are all able to remember that our job is to be obedient to what God calls us to do, to be faithful in that calling, and to leave the rest (and the results) to God. Rest in that truth today friends, HE is faithful and HE will do it.

Monday, August 5, 2019

People are the ENTIRE POINT

This time of year when things are so busy and hectic with summer ending and school starting, it's so easy for me to get caught up in my daily to-do list and forget that the people God puts in my path are NOT distractions but are in fact the entire point! My prayer today is that we all see those people He places in our way today, really see them and that we don't think of them as irritations or things that deter us from checking off the millions of things on our lists. That instead we view them as hand-placed in our lives by God himself for a specific reason and a purpose.

Romans 12:9 in the Message says...
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

August Scripture Writing Plan: Miracles

Happy almost August friends! 
The scripture plan this month is over the topic MIRACLES. 

One of my favorite things in the Bible is the showing of God's power and might through the miracles that Jesus performed. These miracles are a reminder of God's great love for us and of His ability to do more than we can ever dream or imagine. Each miracle was recorded to remind us that God is almighty, that He is in control and that He loves us greatly. Miracles remind us that with God ANYTHING is possible. Truly anything. 

God has total authority over every single thing in this world--over demons, angels, circumstances, people, animals, and every single aspect of the physical world. When we stand in His presence, we are standing in the presence of the One who can fix anything. All He has to do is speak the word and miracles are a reminder of this truth about His character. 

I love this quote about miracles by John Piper that I think sums of miracles perfectly:
"We live today by faith in the promises of God by looking back to the decisive work of Jesus Christ.”
My prayer is that this month we find the lessons in each of these miracles 
and grow closer to the Lord God Almighty!

FYI: I made the plan 31 days and plan to do that with
all topical plans in the future so that they can be done any month-
not just the month I write them for.

TO PRINT: You can find a copy of the plan in the folder HERE.

{Just a reminder, don't try to print the images below or they will be blurry. Be sure to click the link to download a PDF copy!}

Friday, July 26, 2019

God is Faithful in ALL that He Does

Good news this Friday morning: 

He is always with us...if anyone leaves, it's us, not Him.
He will bless us...just not always in the ways we think.
He will provide for us...always. Seriously- ALWAYS.
He will give us rest...if we will be still. (If being the key word).
He will go before us...and WITH us.
He will guide us...we just have to seek Him.
He will answer us...if and when we shut up long enough to listen.
He will strengthen us...He IS our strength.
He will always love us...NOTHING can separate us from His love.
He is ALL that He does. It's impossible for Him to not be faithful.

Psalm 33:4 says: 
For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Friday, July 19, 2019

I am Imperfect

My biggest enemy says awful things to me every single day. Things like…..”You are such a slacker. You are a big fat fraud and a disappointment to everyone around you. The things you are don’t matter. You are a horrible example for the Lord. You are so not equipped to do what God has called you to do. You are absolutely destined to fail. Everyone around you is doing so much more for the Lord. In comparison, you suck. Why do you even bother?”

My biggest enemy is Satan and the things he says in my head. Those words in my head are truly the biggest obstacle to my doing the things God has called me to do. Isn’t that ridiculous? But that’s how the enemy works- he is sneaky and oh so crafty. He makes me question my ability and God’s ability to work through me. He causes me to focus on my lack of ability and makes me think I have to figure it out on my own which is a big fat lie. When he speaks loudly to me (some days it seems like he’s screaming at the top of his lungs) I have to turn to God’s word to remind me what a liar he is.

Exodus 4:10-12 reminds me….
Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

God has created us for His glory. He has apportioned to each of us our own assignments. We each have a field- an assignment God has give to us and to us alone. We each have a unique group of people to love and minister to. And if we don’t, they will miss out. Thankfully we don’t have to fulfill those purposes in our own strength or figure out how to accomplish them on our own, He promises that He will equip us to fulfill those purposes. We must trust that when He says he will give us the ability to do it- He will.

My prayer today is that we are reminded that we are created uniquely for a purpose only we can fulfill. That God is all powerful and not limited by our current state and weaknesses. That when we are tempted to listen to the enemy’s lies that we can’t fulfill those purposes, we turn to God’s word and the truth. That although we doubt ourselves, we never doubt Him. That we are reminded that although we are imperfect, He perfectly equips us to do the assignments He has given to us. #notesinmybible

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Be Our Guest Treats

One of my favorite things about our new house is the room for lots of guests! I love having people come and visit and this new home is perfect for that. One of my favorite things to do is to leave little treats for those visiting to let them know how excited I am that they are there.

I have a tray in one guest room and a basket in another (things I already had in a closet) and fill them with a bunch of standard items each time and then add in a few special treats specific to the guest.

I always include:

  • a bottle of water
  • snacks of some sort
  • mints
  • a basket that includes travel size shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash & lotion
  • a phone charger (because isn't that the worst to forget yours?)
  • a card with our wi-fi network and password on it (because it always feels weird to ask for it)
  • a book or two (or magazine)
  • a devotional book (if that's not a habit they are used to maybe this would spur them to start?)
Special items I sometimes include depending on the guest: 
  • candy or snacks I know they love
  • a face mask
  • a special book
  • a t-shirt
  • a fun surprise gift
It doesn't cost much to make someone feel super welcome in your home and you probably have most of the things already in a drawer or cabinet. If you'd like to make your own wi-fi card you can find a fill-able PDF of the wi-fi card I created (I print mine 4 per page) to make your own HERE

And I would love to hear suggestions for anything else you think might be fun to include 
or what you do to make your guest feel welcome!

Monday, July 8, 2019

I see Hard. He sees How.

In this broken, hard world it’s easy to think that things are irreparable and simply can’t be fixed. But that’s NOT what God promises and not what His word says.

Revelation 21:5 says…..
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Romans 8:28 says…
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

That marriage in shambles that seems unfixable? He can use it for His good. That severed relationship that seems irreparable? He can use it for His good. That situation that is so heartbreaking you don't think you can stand it? He can use it for His good.

Maybe not in the way that we think or hope but we can count on the fact that He will make something new and glorious out of the yuck in our lives. He will use it for His good. Even in the difficult and hard times He is working for good. When all we see is HARD, all He sees is HOW. My prayer today is that if all you can see if brokenness and heartbreak, that you are reminded that He is always working things, even the hard and overwhelming things, together for good. I pray that if all you can see if the hard today, you are reminded He indeed works all things together for good.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

July Scripture Writing Plan: Attributes of God

Happy almost July sweet friends!
The scripture writing plan this month is on the

I'm so excited about our topic this month! Studying the attributes of God is an incredible opportunity to grow closer to God by learning more about His nature and His character. While fully comprehending who God is impossible for us as human beings, thankfully God makes himself known in a variety of ways- both through what He reveals about himself in his Word and in his creation. When we look at His word we can begin to try to wrap our tiny minds around our awesome Creator and God. God’s attributes definitely inspire awe and wonder and reverence, but they also remind us of His deeply personal and relational nature. He longs to know us intimately. When we speak of God's attributes, we are talking about those characteristics that helps us to understand who He truly is. My prayer is that we spend the next month getting to know our creator, God of the universe more intimately.

FYI: I made the plan 31 days and plan to do that with
all topical plans in the future so that they can be done any month-
not just the month I write them for.

TO PRINT: You can find a copy of the plan in English and Spanish in the folder HERE.

{Just a reminder, don't try to print the images below or they will be blurry. Be sure to click the link to download a PDF copy!}