Tuesday, November 13, 2018

He Sees You




If you’ve ever played hide and seek with a toddler, you know that it is a hoot because they are absolutely TERRIBLE at the game. They hide in plain sight where you can’t help but see them. Their tiny little feet stick out under the curtains, they hide behind something way smaller than they are, they lay as a big lump under a blanket on the floor. They think that if they can’t see YOU, then they are completely invisible and will avoid your detection.

I think God probably looks at us just like we look at a toddler playing hide and seek. We so often try to hide from him (and everyone else) when we are struggling and yet the good news is... He sees us. Genesis 16 tells the story of Hagar who was a young servant girl that was facing some serious, big challenges. When faced with these difficulties Hagar didn’t stay and confront them- she ran quickly away (which I don’t know about you- but is often my first instinct too!). And when Hagar found herself seemingly completely alone in the wilderness- feeling unloved and rejected and hurt and totally hopeless, guess who showed up? God- because He always does. She was stunned that He did and she responded to Him by giving him a new name.….El Roi- The One Who Sees Me. Genesis 16:13 says….“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”


𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝗚𝗼𝗱.
I am seen by God.
He sees us.
He pursues us.
He is with us.
We can be 100% certain that no matter where we go, no matter what we do, He is there and He sees us. We are never alone. We are never forgotten. We are never beyond hope. We are never invisible to Him. He knows when we are in the wilderness and will pursue us there- even when we try to hide from Him like a toddler playing hide and seek. It’s impossible to hide from Him.

My prayer today is that you are reminded that no matter how alone or sad you feel- God sees you. No matter what mountain you are facing, no matter what illness you are battling, no matter how brokenhearted you are, no matter how rejected you feel, no matter what- you are under God’s care and HE SEES YOU. He wrote your story and He is in that story with you. 𝗛𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗹𝘆 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝘀𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂, 𝘀𝘄𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱, 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗛𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗼𝗿 𝗛𝗶𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Memory Verse: Week 46


I believe that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s word and will use any and every means possible to keep us from the truth and therefore we must be prepared and have a PLAN!

To work on hiding God's word in our hearts, 
this year I'm going to be posting a memory verse for each week
 along with a printable to print out and hang up. 


Here's the verse for week 46:


     


You can print out the verses in English and Spanish and the complete list in a folder  HERE

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

His Love is Irrevocable

When I was little I had a dog stuff animal. He was a big white dog with a red shirt that said “Puppy Love”. I loved that stuffed dog so dearly and took him absolutely everywhere. I loved him so much that he grew dirty from being carried around everywhere I went and being slept & played with year after year. He eventually lost an eye and part of his nose- but my love for him did not wane, I loved him still.. After years of being loved hard, he was no longer beautiful to anyone. His fur was grayish, his shirt faded and his features scraggly. If you saw him (he is actually in my attic!), you definitely wouldn’t think of him as beautiful- you’d probably only see his flaws. However, if I looked at him, I’d tell you he was beautiful and wonderful. Not because he is actually outwardly beautiful today. Not because he does anything to deserve that love. I love him because I see him as he was created. In my eyes, he is perfect because I love him so.


Thankfully that’s how God loves us. He doesn’t love us because we necessarily are beautiful- inside or out. He loves us when we are good and when we are not so good. He loves us when we make mistakes and screw up (no matter how big those mistakes may be). His love is what makes us beautiful. He loves us despite all of our inadequacies and flaws. He loves us- flaws and all- simply because we are His children.

Think about how a grandma loves a grandchild. In her eyes, they are the very absolute best of the best. She has their pictures plastered all over her house, on her refrigerator, and carries around photos of them to show to anyone and everyone willing to look at them- friend, neighbor, pastor, postman, check out guy at the grocery store- literally anyone! She brags about that grandchild, sharing their accomplishments (no matter how small or insignificant) and overlooking their flaws because of her great love for them. She lavishes love and gifts and kisses and hugs on that child every single chance she gets. That’s how God feels about us- a grandma’s love multiplied by millions and millions. He set his love on us- not because we earned it, but because He delights in us.

Ephesians 3: 17b-19 says…
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. NIV
Did you notice those verses didn’t have a single stipulation on His love. It doesn’t say…..”and deep is the love of Christ IF you do ____ or act _____”. His love is. It’s a fact and there is nothing- not a single thing you can do to change or erase it. NOTHING. When you feel ugly or less than or unloved, God says: You are beautiful because you are mine and I love you.

My prayer today is that you are reminded how deep and wide and precious His love is for you. No matter what you have done or said, no matter what flaws you have, no matter how big your mistakes- He loves you still. His love is the single thing that you can count on. 𝗛𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗿𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲, He will always love you.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Scripture Bags


A few months ago I went to a fundraiser for our local maternity home. I drove home that night thinking that I wanted to start doing something for the sweet mamas staying at the home each month. I decided that surrounding them with scripture to remind them of God’s great love for them would be my goal and that each month I’d give them a bag full of scripture. As I finished the bags for this month and prayed for these sweet mamas this morning, I thought I’d share what I put in each bag in case you have someone that needs to be reminded how loved they are. It only takes a few minutes and can cost almost nothing!


In the bags this month I included:

A “ Who I am in Christ” image that I laminated. This was written by my precious friend Terri’s mama and I love it so. You can print a copy here: https://goo.gl/hCidkJ .
The Comparison & Envy Scripture Writing Plan for this month. Last month in their bags I gave them the plan and a notebook. This month’s plan I put in a page protector. You can print a copy here: https://goo.gl/eoX1Lw.
A bookmark I created and had printed. You can make your own or purchase one.
This super cute magnet I found at Hobby Lobby. It was $2.99 and found in the check-out area.
A printable of 2 Chronicles 20:15 (which is one of my all-time favorites) and an army man. I love this reminder that the battle is His, not ours.  You can print a copy here: https://goo.gl/Bn8jzT .
Micah 5:5 verse printable that I created and printed at Walgreens and placed in a $1 frame from Michael’s (that was on sale for 50 cents). You can print a copy here: https://goo.gl/rLojGL .

Everything in the bag I already had except the magnets and the bags themselves. Total it cost me about $20 for 6 bags. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all- you can truly use what you have! 

Pray for God to show you someone who needs a little encouragement and a reminder that they are loved and create your own Scripture Bag surprise for them today!

Memory Verse: Week 45


I believe that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s word and will use any and every means possible to keep us from the truth and therefore we must be prepared and have a PLAN!

To work on hiding God's word in our hearts, 
this year I'm going to be posting a memory verse for each week
 along with a printable to print out and hang up. 


Here's the verse for week 45:


     


     

You can print out the verses in English and Spanish and the complete list in a folder  HERE


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Memory Verse: Week 44


I believe that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s word and will use any and every means possible to keep us from the truth and therefore we must be prepared and have a PLAN!

To work on hiding God's word in our hearts, 
this year I'm going to be posting a memory verse for each week
 along with a printable to print out and hang up. 


Here's the verse for week 44:


     

You can print out the verses in English and Spanish and the complete list in a folder  HERE


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Scars are Proof that God Heals

I have what often feels like many scars. The one on my finger from high school newspaper when I cut it with an Exact-o knife laying out the paper,, surgery scars including a hysterectomy scar, a giant indented one (they took and left out part of my skull) from brain surgery (that surgery also includes one on my stomach where they took fat to put in my head- how weird is that?), lots of little scars from skin biopsies and one big one that’s indented on my back from Melanoma. My scars are a reminder of things that happened in my life and although I could (and occasionally do) be ashamed of those scars and see them as awful, ugly defects that make me less than, I don’t. I choose instead to see them as reminders that I am such a lucky girl that has survived some pretty yucky events in her life. They are a part of my story. They are badges that I am a survivor. 𝗠𝘆 𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀.

While you may not have a bunch of physical scars like I do, I bet your have some interior scars on your heart. Me too. ALL of us have emotional scars. The kind of scars that we tend to keep hidden. The kind of scars that make us cry to speak about. Difficult childhood? Scar. Father who abandoned you? Scar. Abusive relationship? Scar. Marriage ending in divorce no matter what you did to try and save it? Scar. Death of a loved one? Scar. And those scars? They are also a reminder that though we were wounded, we have been healed. 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀.
I came across this quote about scars recently in a book i was reading and so loved it….
“But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” ― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Jesus had scars- HUGE scars. When He appeared to His disciples after His death, they didn’t recognize Him when he walked into the room- until He showed them His scars. Once they saw His scars, they knew He was Jesus (John 20:24-27). Now Jesus could have healed His scars and come back perfect and whole but He didn’t. His scars tell the story of our salvation. He kept His scars to remind us- we are loved, He is with us always, and we are worthy. So worthy that He endured unbelievable pain. His scars are a reminder that we can be healed. God can redeem anything the enemy has stolen from you. His scars were important- and so are mine and so are yours. Jesus showed His scars with confidence, not embarrassment and so should we.

Although it’s not healthy to live constantly in the past we can use our scars to help others. We honor God when we reveal the beauty in our brokenness, in our scars. Isaiah 53:5 says…"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." This verse reminds us that God brings beauty from ashes when we allow Him to use what we have been through for HIS glory. Behind every scar is an untold story of survival. And you never know who needs to hear your scar story to be encouraged and to know that they too can be healed through Him. My prayer today is that we are able to see our scars as proof of His power and healing and share them with those who God places in our paths today.

Friday, October 26, 2018

November Scripture Writing Plan: Comparison & Envy

Happy almost November friends!

The scripture writing plan this month is over a topic I think most of us struggle with:
COMPARISON & ENVY.

I don't know about you but I am a girl who tends to compare.
I unconsciously tend to compare just about everything-
families, houses, churches, jobs, relationships, husbands, hair, weight, children, friendships, 
finances, blessings and even sometimes burdens (how ridiculous is that?)

I think so many of us look at what we have and compare to what we think others have 
(or what they appear to have) and find ourselves lacking. 
And comparison sweet friends is a tool of Satan and it is super dangerous!
Why? It's dangerous because it causes us to focus on ourselves, 
instead of on God and it usually leads to envy and jealousy and resentment (super UGH). 

Because we are so clearly aware of where WE fall short it's easy to listen to 
Satan when he points out those around us who do NOT have those 
shortcomings or who have more than we do. 
And oh how he loves to point out those things to us to get us to focus on them!

"Psst.....look at her- she is thin and beautiful and so put together. So not like you. You are a big, fat, old mess." 
"Psst.....look at her and her husband- they are so loving and treat each other so well. So not like you and your husband who are so often snarky and often ignore each other." 
"Psst.....look at her house. It's huge and gorgeous and perfectly decorated and there isn't a mess or dog hair in sight. So not like your messy, disorganized house!"
"Psst......look at their friendship. They are always doing so many fun things together and you are all alone. No one cares about you. 

We have to intentionally stop comparing and remember that
God has a special plan for each and every one of us. 

He has a plan created specifically for YOU. 
His gifts for you are the best gifts for YOU to posses. 
He created YOU in His image and knit you together in your mothers womb. 
He knows your inadequacies and insecurities. 
He knows what caused them and yet
He chose you before you were born for a specific purpose,
to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.
He created you, YOU. 

Instead of worrying about what others have and where we fall short, 
let's spend this month digging into His word
 to learn more about what God says about comparison and envy 
and then focus to STOP comparing ourselves to others!

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!}

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Indivisible


I love movies. 
And Christian movies, based on a true story and 
in the theater are my absolute favorite kind of movie! 
And one comes out tomorrow, Indivisible, that is FABULOUS!

INDIVISIBLE is the extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather, whose lives are fully devoted to serving God, family, and country. But when war etches deep battle scars—both overseas and on the home front—the Turners’ rock-solid marriage is shaken to its core.

Carrying burdens the other can’t comprehend, they must decide if they’re willing to face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage. From the director of The Grace Card and the studio that brought you Fireproof and War Room comes INDIVISIBLE, the story of one marriage … one family … under God. Starring Sarah Drew, Justin Bruening, Jason George, Tia Mowry, and Madeline Carroll, INDIVISIBLE opens in theaters October 26. 


My husband and I were so excited to get to see this movie prior to it's opening. 
Not being a military family, it's so very hard to imagine the sacrifices that military families 
make and how difficult it must be being separated and then reconnecting when they return.

This movie did an amazing job of showing those sacrifices and my heart truly ached for this family. Indivisible is an amazing story of love and redemption 
and brokenness and the power of forgiveness. 
If you love Jesus and America and family- you MUST go see this movie! 

26.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Even in the Wilderness, He Provides

Maybe today you’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting- for a break, for a breakthrough, for a miracle- and you are weary. Maybe you feel like you are walking through the wilderness and it’s taking a sweet forever, you are losing hope and you truly can only see sand for miles and miles ahead. Whatever the desert you are walking through, whatever need you have (seriously, WHATEVER it is)........God’s got this. He is able to completely and fully provide what you need and give you the strength and endurance you need to walk through the desert you are in. 

Deuteronomy 29:5-6 says….
Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” NIV
God is the great provider. Deuteronomy is full of amazing reminders of God’s provision. The verses above are incredible. 40 years and they didn't need new clothes or sandals? 40 years with no food? Only God could do that! I love these verses because they are a beautiful reminder that..... 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝗚𝗼𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀. 𝗔𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀. It may not look as we hope or desire, but He does provide. My prayer today is that when you are weary of the desert you are in, you are reminded that He will satisfy your needs, even in desert times.

Memory Verse: Week 43


I believe that Satan doesn’t want us in God’s word and will use any and every means possible to keep us from the truth and therefore we must be prepared and have a PLAN!

To work on hiding God's word in our hearts, 
this year I'm going to be posting a memory verse for each week
 along with a printable to print out and hang up. 


Here's the verse for week 43:


     

You can print out the verses in English and Spanish and the complete list in a folder  HERE

Monday, October 15, 2018

Relentless Savior


My sweet puppy Poppy is only about 6lbs. Because of that we often lose her... in our house. That sounds a little crazy but she follows so closely behind me almost everywhere I go that sometimes I walk into a closet or room and grab what I need and close the door without realizing I’ve trapped her inside. A few minutes later I will realize she’s not in the room with me (because she is always in the room with me) and start to panic. I quickly retrace my steps and typically find her laying on the floor in the closet waiting for me. Now we have two dogs and when I realize Poppy is missing, I could just say… “Oh well, we have another dog, I’ll just forget about Poppy because she doesn’t matter” but of course I don’t. Because I love her so and because it’s my job to care for her, I immediately search for and find her- making sure she’s safe. This is exactly how God feels about us, His lost sheep.

Luke 15:4 says...
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
When one of God’s sheep is lost He follows it, searches for it, and doesn’t stop until He finds it and brings it so. He does this because of His great love for us. He knows that the sheep (and we) can’t save itself. He takes action and actively seeks out the lost. He doesn’t do this grudgingly- 𝗛𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿. 𝗛𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿! He left the 99 to save you and me!