Saturday, November 28, 2020

December Scripture Writing Plan: Gifts & Blessings from God

 Happy almost December sweet friends! 

The scripture writing plan topic this month is over 
Blessings and Gifts from God
God has given us (yep, YOU and ME!) so many blessings that we too often taken for granted. We get so used to these gifts that we fail to recognize and thank Him for these incredible gifts that can come to us only through Him. Now I don't necessarily mean physical gifts (although He does provide those), but spiritual gifts and blessings. 

We hear the word and use the word blessed a LOT (seriously, it's on every other shirt and coffee mug you see these days), but what are these blessings from God? Ephesians 1:3 says: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 

Did you catch that? God gives us EVERY spiritual blessing that He has and does not hold back or leave out any blessings to us! Not some or a few- EVERY one. Not some to me but all to you because you deserve them more- ALL of them to each of us. How awesome and incredible is that?  

So what are these spiritual blessings?  These are blessings given to us when we choose to follow Jesus. Of course the biggest gift God gave us was when He physically and outwardly showed us His love toward us, by giving us His only begotten Son to us, as a sacrifice for our sins, so that we might live through Jesus and receive the gift of eternal life.  The giving of Jesus to us was the manifestation of the love of God for us. But there is a HUGE list of blessings and gifts from God that include things like: 
  • Our salvation
  • Forgiveness of our sins
  • Grace
  • Righteousness
  • Mercy
  • Strength
  • The Holy Spirit which gives us insight and power to do God’s will
  • Eternal life with Jesus
  • Anything that brings us closer to Jesus
Now God’s original plan was to bless us with a life of peace and fulfillment with Him. God wants to give all of His children all of His gifts. There is nothing that God wants to hold back from us- He wants to give all good things to us. Of course sin ruined that plan but thankfully he gives us the ultimate blessing of restoration, forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus. Thankfully Jesus pours out all His attributes onto us: His love and joy, His peace and patience, His kindness and goodness, His faithfulness and gentleness. What incredible blessings those are! 

My prayer is that we spend this next month reading about and focusing on the many undeserving gifts and blessings from the Lord and remember to thank Him daily for them. I pray that during this Advent Season, just as Mary pondered the birth of her child, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the gifts and blessings that He brings and that is to come, we would be wise, just like the Wise Men were, to also ponder the meaning of these gifts that were given freely to us from the King of kings and Lord of lords and God Almighty, Himself!


FYI: I make all plans 31 days long 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.





Thursday, October 29, 2020

November Scripture Writing Plan: Repentance

Happy almost November sweet friends! 

The scripture writing plan topic this month is over something we don't talk about very often: 
REPENTANCE

A child that sneaks candy, eats it all, gets caught, probably has a stomach ache, gets put in time out and starts crying is most likely sorry. A driver speeding in a school zone who gets pulled over and gets a ticket probably regrets their decision to speed. A boyfriend who cheats on his girlfriend, gets caught and all of his friends and family find out, is probably remorseful and embarrassed. Sorry and remorseful and full of regret? For sure. Repentant? Not necessarily. That's because repentance and remorse are so often confused but y'all-they are definitely NOT the same thing. 

So, what is REMORSE?  Remorse is deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed. Remorse is being sorry you got caught and being sorry for the consequences that resulted from something you did.  In the examples above, the people are most likely remorseful. Why? Because they got caught and it caused pain to themselves and/or to others. But, being remorseful doesn't automatically mean they are repentant. Remorse is just one step on the road to repentance. Remorse deals with our guilt and the consequences of what we've done. 

So, what is REPENTANCE? Repentance is sincere regret or remorse AND a turn from the sin. That's the difference. Repentance means to turn from your sin and change your behavior. Repentance involves grief and sorrow towards God because of our sin and it always, always leads to a change in behavior.

Paul explains it in 2 Corinthians 7: 8-11 which says: 
 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.  See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 

Repentance leads to change. So although remorse is important, it is true repentance that's needed. We would know that the folks mentioned above are most likely repentant if they change their behavior and didn't sneak candy, speed or cheat ever again. Repentance isn't just a suggestion. God commanded of us in the Bible, Christ preached it, and God expects it from us. Repentance involves being convicted of your sin, being sorrowful about your sin, turning away from your sin and changing your ways. 

Repentance is tough for many to understand but thankfully there are many verses about it in the Bible to help us. My prayer is that this month we focus on reading what God has to say about repentance so that we can be obedient and not just be remorseful but learn to repent and turn from our sin, just as God calls us to! 


FYI: I make all plans 31 days long 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.


















Monday, October 12, 2020

You Deserve a Whole Sheet of Gold Stars Printable


Every week I try to send encouraging notes to at least 5 people to remind them that I see and appreciate their hard work. This year I think it’s more important than ever because everyone seems to be working harder than ever and needs a reminder that they are doing a great job. It’s truly one of my favorite things I do each week and only takes a few minutes.

Who can you encourage today with a quick little note? Do it!


You can print out a PDF of the note I made and use HERE with four notes per page.



Tuesday, September 29, 2020

October Scripture Writing Plan: Bravery

  Happy almost October sweet friends! 

The scripture writing plan topic this month is over something we all need: 

BRAVERY

Back in April, while quarantined at home, some sweet friends and I did a devotional by Annie F Downs titled 100 Days to Brave, which I highly recommend. Each morning one of us would read the devotion for the day on Marco Polo and it was truly the perfect book for such a scary time. It was such a weird, uncertain time and none of us felt brave- not at all. What I loved about it is that in the insanity of the world we were living in, it helped us focus on the ONLY thing we can be sure of and can always, always, always, count on- God.
 
I love Annie’s description of brave:
Courage is doing things even when you’re scared. Being brave isn’t something that happens when you’re not scared anymore. Brave people don’t stop hearing the whispers of fear. They hear the whispers but take action anyway. Being brave is hearing that voice of fear in your head, but saying, “Okay, but the truth is, God made me on purpose and for a purpose.”

I’ve been doing a study on Joshua (whom I adore) and I have been in awe of how crazy brave He was! Think about it…. Joshua is following behind Moses (who was an amazing leader) and both Moses and God keep telling him to “Be brave and courageous!”. That fact alone would have had me shaking in my sandals because I know that if someone tells me something over and over again, it’s probably for a very good reason. Being told over and over again to be brave means you are going to be in some situations that require you to be brave! He’s got thousands and thousands of families looking to him to lead them across the Jordan River and into this new, unknown land. He had to feel unqualified and unprepared and was most likely doubting his abilities. But, the good thing is that Joshua knew that he didn’t have to have the answers or have it all together. God had promised him that He, God of the Universe, had it all taken care of and Joshua didn’t need to worry a bit. (If you need to be encouraged, go read Joshua because it’s full of stories where God followed through on His promises and took incredible care of His people). 

Bravery requires trusting God and stepping out in faith, even when you are scared- just like Joshua. But bravery isn’t always doing something crazy (bungee jumping or skydiving) or bold but often is doing something that makes you uncomfortable and is out of your comfort zone. Bravery is living your life according to what God alone tells you to do-putting your faith in Him and putting His plans above all other plans, even your own. It doesn’t always look heroic and sometimes it’s full of silence and waiting. Bravery isn’t about us, it’s about God and out trust in Him. 
 
I love that God’s word is full of reminders to be brave because God knew it would be something we would struggle with. Let’s spend the next month digging into what God has to say about bravery.


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, September 16, 2020

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Monday, August 31, 2020

September Scripture Writing Plan: Grace

 Happy almost September sweet friends! 

The scripture writing plan topic this month is over something we all need: 

GRACE

I love lists and really LOVE checking things off lists. Sadly, we Christians often set up some crazy lists for ourselves though and think that if we don’t do all those things, we are not deserving of God’s love and grace. Thank goodness that is NOT true. Living a life for Christ does not include a list of things to do that we are required to complete in order for us to receive God’s love. Time and time again in His word, God reminds us that even though we did nothing to deserve His grace and love, He sent His son to die on the cross for our sins. We didn’t earn it and we definitely don’t deserve it, but He gave it to us out of His great love for us. Because of this amazing gift, we no longer have to live a life in our own strength, but can surrender completely and fully to HIM.

2 Corinthians 12: 9 says:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

What is grace? Gracious, the Hebrew word chanan, in its verb form, means to be considerate or to show favor. That God is gracious would mean that he is favorably inclined toward us. That he wants to show favor to us. To do what is best for us- always.

Many of us struggle with the lie that Satan tries to get us to believe-  that we must EARN God’s grace, and that unless we live a perfect life, God will withhold His mercy and grace on us because we are undeserving. But y’all- nothing is further from the Truth of God's Word. No one can ever earn God’s favor at any time, for any reason. NO ONE. EVER. His mercy and grace to us renews each and every single morning (Praise the LORD!). God’s grace and mercy are not a one-and-done thing- it’s given to us every single day, every single hour.

My prayer is that this month, as we focus on what God’s word says about grace, that we are able to acknowledge God’s sweet gifts of love and forgiveness and grace and stop trying to live life in our own strength, but instead leaning fully on Him. My we cement in our hearts the truth that His grace covers us.

 

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.


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Be Not Afraid



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).

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 as I read 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.

I made this little printable and I put one on my desk as a reminder to myself. To remind myself to allow God to fight the battles and for me to stand firm in His promises. (If you'd like to print your own copy, you can get one at the link here: https://goo.gl/7d1K3n )



Wednesday, July 29, 2020

August Scripture Writing Plan: God is My Strength

Happy almost August sweet friends! 

The scripture plan topic this month is over something
I think everyone needs to be reminded of right now:
The reminder that 
GOD IS MY STRENGTH.

(If this plan looks familiar, it's because it's a refresh of a plan from 3 years ago- 
I felt strongly led to do this topic this month so I updated it!)

A few years ago I started taking yoga (which I love!) and because I only have half of my balance nerves (my right side balance nerves were severed during my brain surgery so I’m kind of like a weeble- I wobble but don’t usually fall down) there are some poses, like tree pose, that are extremely difficult and challenging for me. The first time I did tree pose I literally almost fell over. What I have had to learn over the past few years is that I must lean on my supports while doing poses like the tree pose- at least initially. It’s not an option, it’s something I must do or I WILL fall down. I must lean in and steady myself with something that is unchangeable and that I know I can count on- like the wall or bar. Doing so turns my super wobbly pose into a solid, secure one and eventually I can let go.

One day as I stood in tree pose in class I thought about what a perfect analogy my tree pose in yoga is for how I am in life. I go along and try to do all sorts of things in my own strength- only to get super weary and wobbly and ultimately, I fall down. But, when I stop and am reminded that God is my strength and that He is steady and secure, and I can lean on Him- then I am rock solid strong.

Isaiah 40: 28-31 reminds us of this where it says….
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” NIV

These verses are full of reminders that:
  1. God is in control. He is. Not us. He is all seeing, all knowing, all powerful and has NO limits. Isaiah doesn’t start in these verses immediately talking about what needs to be done. He stops and says….Hey, don’t you remember who God is? He is God who loves us with an always and forever love. We can count on it and rest in it- even in (and especially when) life is crazy around us.
  2. God is everlasting.
  3. God is the creator of the ends of the earth.
  4. God is infinite in His energy. He is ALWAYS working and NEVER tires or gets weary.
  5. God is unchangeable. Even when life makes no sense to us, God’s not ever confused or perplexed or overwhelmed.
  6. God is strong. Always.
  7. God is generous. He isn’t just powerful, He wants US to walk in power with Him. He meets our weakness with His strength.

When we seek it, God gives us an ample supply of HIS strength. I don’t know about you but for that I am so crazy thankful. He has his eyes on me and holds me in the palm of His mighty hand. When I start to fall (and I WILL fall) in my own strength, He will catch me.

My prayer is that we are able to spend this month reading what He has to say about strength in His word and that we are able to fix our focus on the changeless reality that is Him- regardless of our circumstances. That we are able to lean into His mighty strength and draw from His power when we feel weak.



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.



Thursday, July 23, 2020

Obedience, not Ability


My biggest enemy says awful, terrible 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 must turn to God’s word to remind me what a liar he is and be obedient- no matter how I feel. 

Exodus 19:5 reminds me of this truth: Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.

Friends, God has created us for His glory. He has apportioned to each of us our very own assignments. We each have a field- an assignment God has given 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. How awful would that be? Thankfully we don’t have to fulfill those purposes in our own strength or figure out how to accomplish them on our own, because 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- praise the Lord! 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


Monday, June 29, 2020

July Scripture Writing Plan: Forgiveness

Happy almost July sweet friends! 

The scripture plan topic this month is over something I think everyone struggles with,
FORGIVENESS.


Forgiveness is hard y'all. Super stinky hard.

Sometimes I think even harder than forgiving others-it's harder even to forgive ourselves. To forgive ourselves the way God repeatedly forgives us over and over and over again. To give ourselves grace and mercy just as we give grace and mercy to those we love.

We torment ourselves thinking about what we could have done, should have done and although we know God forgives us, we can't (or won't) forgive ourselves. I think for me it often boils down to the fact that it's the unrealistic expectations I have of myself and put on myself that is at the root of this inability to forgive myself. I want to believe that I am better than I am- but the reality is, I'm not. I am a sinful, imperfect mess that is saved only by the grace and mercy of Christ.

God calls us to forgive- no matter how hard it is.

Isaiah 44:22 says...
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Psalm 103:12 says...As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. All of us- every single one. 
Thankfully He will pick us up when we call out to Him and repent. There is no wrong- seriously NONE- that can keep God from redeeming you. His word is full of reminders of people who made mistakes and were given a new start by God and He will do the same for you and for me. How awesome and amazing is that?

Let's spend the next month focusing on what God's word says about forgiveness. My prayer is that during the month we are able to let go of any guilt we are clinging to and trust God to work out whatever went wrong and to thank Him for His mercy that endures for ever and ever and ever. 

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.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

New Happy Notes

Back in 2013 when I started going to MD Anderson I created some little notes to post in bathrooms. I originally created them before my surgery because I prepared a little list of RAOK for my daughter Madison and her sweet friends who spent my surgery day with her to do. I loved thinking of them performing acts of kindness at MD Anderson instead of just sitting and worrying about me.


Ever since then I've kept some of the notes in my purse along with some 
washi tape and I put them up each time I visit MDA for follow up visits.
I always stop at every bathroom I pass and seek out bathrooms 
in all areas of the building on the way to my appointments.
My prayer as I hang each one is that God would bring the person 
who needs to see it and be reminded that they are strong and loved 
and brave to that specific bathroom stall. 


Before my trip this week I decided to make some new notes to post. 
If you'd like to print some out yourself, 
you can find all of these notes in the folder HERE
and many others in the folder HERE