Monday, August 14, 2017

The One who Calls you IS Faithful!

I don't know about you, but I so often need the reminder 
that I don't have to FEEL qualified to do what God is calling me to do.  
If He calls me, HE will do it. 

1 Thessalonians 5:24 is one of my absolute favorite verses 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 honestly... is ALL the time. 
There is such comfort to me knowing it's not up to ME! 

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

It's easy to name all the things that will fail us in this world. 
All people (even those we love the most) will disappoint us and let us down. 
All things in our lives will break and fall apart.
Man's promises WILL certainly be broken. 
But God's promises...will NEVER be broken. 
If He said it, He WILL do it. 

God IS faithful. Faithful is WHO He is. 
He always keeps His word because if He did not, he would not be God!

Everything that God says and does is absolutely 100% certain. 
He is dependable and certain. 
He does not fail or forget or falter or change or disappoint. EVER. 
 He says what He means and does what He says.

My prayer is that if you are feeling overwhelmed tonight, 
you are reminded that if He has called you (or me) to it, 
He WILL do it (and equip you to do it). 
That you are able to rest in the knowledge that His calling comes with an equipping. 
It's not up to you, it's up to Him!

You can print a PDF or JPG copy HERE! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cards for Your Child Going Away to College

Sending your child away to college is hard y'all. 
It doesn't matter if they are 10 minutes away or 12 hours away. 
It's like sending your heart away and it's hard not to worry that 
you won't be there when they need you. 

So when my sweet girl left for college her freshman year, I bought a bunch of cards, 
wrote in them, labeled them 
(For when you are sad, For when you are sick, for when you are homesick, 
For when you need a reminder you are loved, etc) 
and put them in a box tied with a bow.

My mama did this for me when I went away to Baylor too and
 I remembered how much I loved those handwritten cards. 

Because as much as I loved college, there were times when I so missed my mama 
and those cards were such a sweet reminder of her.

When we moved her into her dorm I placed the box in Madison's drawers to find after we left.
 I wasn't sure if she read them but when we were unpacking her things in her
 new apartment her sophomore year I saw the box.
When she saw me holding the almost empty box- she asked. 
"You are going to write me some more cards, right?" 
So of course I did. 

And as I wrote in them I thought of how much my mama 
would have loved me carrying on that tradition. 

If you have a child headed off to college and want to do this for them- here are the cards from the second year in case you need some ideas other than the ones above.


 (Note: Hobby Lobby has a great selection of cards 
that are perfect for this and are super inexpensive!)

Friday, July 28, 2017

August Scripture Writing Plan: Sabbath & Rest

Happy almost August friends!
The new topical plan for this month is over a topic I've been doing a lot of reading on:
Sabbath & Rest. 

I struggle greatly with resting and being still and God's been very 
clearly speaking to me about this in the past few months. 
I think as a mom, wife, and mother it's just hard to allow myself
 time to be still with so many things to do and take care of. 
{I'll post in the next few days some resources I've been using if you too struggle with resting.}
My prayer is that every verse in this plan is a reminder 
to you of God's desire and command for us to rest.

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.





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

At the suggestion of a blog reader, I also decided to do
a fun iPhone lock screen with the plan on it.
You can download a copy of it HERE.

Below is the plan for the month of  August from last year.
You can download a copy in the folder HERE




At the urging of some blog readers, I've also created a long version of the plan this month
and placed it in my ETSY store HERE.

It a 127 page printable digital file that includes:
-The 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan on the topic of Sabbath and Rest
-A page for each day with the verse written out in NIV version with space for you to write the verse
-A page for each day with the verse written out in The Message with space for you to write the verse
-A page for each day to write observations, keywords, and takeaways from the verses
-A page to write next steps, prayers, and applications from the verses
-A page with six printable Sabbath and Rest verse cards

Here are a few sample sheets:
     

     

It's perfect to print and bind or put in a notebook.  
It would also be great to print and give someone as a gift! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

He Alone is My Strength

This week has been a whirlwind of sadness that began with the very 
unexpected death of a dear friend and co-worker. 

This sweet friend- a precious, strong, brilliant, bright light in this world is gone 
and has left her friends and family left shattered, reeling & broken hearted. 
Our hearts ache thinking of her precious children growing up without their amazing mama 
& the world without her brilliance, but we are thankful she is living with our Lord in 
paradise and that we WILL see her again one day. 

(She loved the beach more than anyone I know so I love thinking of her sitting on the most amazing beach
 ever with the sun shining on her & that beautiful smile on her face and a drink in her hand.)

Grief is hard and awful and I've said several times this week that there is no right or 
wrong way to process the loss of someone you love. 
It's okay to be sad and angry- even when you love 
God with all your heart and trust in His promises. 

To question WHY- even when you know without a doubt 
you will see your loved one again one day. 

To struggle to make sense of senseless tragedies-
 even when your heart aches and you just can't understand.

I am so, so thankful that I am not alone, that God grieves with us in our
 pain and sadness and that He is near, holding us in the palm of His mighty hand.

Thank you sweet Jesus for assuring me that Your promises hold strong and 
true even when life seems awful and devastating. 
You alone are my strength and my hope and I am so thankful for you precious savior.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Struggling to Walk

I took my sweet puppy Poppy for a walk the other night. 
Although super stinking adorable, she struggles on walks- 
sometimes trying to eat the leash, sometimes trying to lead and run ahead, 
sometimes getting tangled up in the leash, sometimes following far behind me, 
sometimes getting startled & distracted by loud noises nearby, 
and sometimes getting tired and just gives no up and sitting down mid-walk. 

As we walked and I laughed at her I thought about how much I'm like Poppy. 
I KNOW God is in control and has the very best for me, and yet I still struggle
 to follow Him sometimes. 

Sometimes I try to lead, sometimes I get weary and stop, 
and sometimes I follow far behind Him ignoring His call to me. 

Y'all I'm just like my crazy, silly puppy. 
Jesus leads me to keep me safe because He loves me so-just like I love Poppy. 


Deuteronomy 5:33 is the perfect reminder of this to me.... 
"So be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don’t veer off to the right or the left. Walk straight down the road God commands so that you’ll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you’re about to possess."

My prayer for us today is that we are reminded that we are to walk straight 
down the road following Him- not veering to the right or the left- 
remembering that His guidance is for our safety & protection 
and is because He loves us so! 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

July Scripture Writing Plan: Obedience {& a GIVEAWAY!}

Happy almost July friends!
The new topical plan for this month is over the topic of Obedience.

If you ever struggle with doing what God calls you to do- this plan is for you!
My prayer is that every verse will be a reminder of God's commands and promises to us.

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.

You'll notice the plans got a little makeover this month. 
I added the check boxes to help you mark off as you complete the verses 
and decided it was time to make the look a little cleaner and simpler too!




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

At the suggestion of a blog reader, I also decided to do
a fun iPhone lock screen with the plan on it.
You can download a copy of it HERE.



This is the plan for the month of  July from last year
which is topical plan on Patience and Perseverance.


You can download a copy in the folder HERE.


At the urging of some blog readers, I've also created a long version of the plan this month
and placed it in my ETSY store HERE.

It a 127 page printable digital file that includes:
-The 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan on the topic of Obedience
-A page for each day with the verse written out in NIV version with space for you to write the verse
-A page for each day with the verse written out in The Message with space for you to write the verse
-A page for each day to write observations, keywords, and takeaways from the verses
-A page to write next steps, prayers, and applications from the verses
-A page with six printable obedience verse cards

Here are a few sample sheets:

     

     


It's perfect to print and bind or put in a notebook.  
It would also be great to print and give someone as a gift! 


Giveaway: Leave a comment below of what topic you hope will be next month 
and I'll choose one winner to get a free copy of the long plan! 

Coupon Code: And to celebrate summer, use the coupon code HAPPYSUMMER 
for 20% off of your purchase in my ETSY store, Sweet Blessings, from now until July 7th! 


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Love Shows UP

Love isn't easy y'all. 
It's a daily choice because sometimes we don't feel it. 
At all. 

But we show up for those we love. 
When they are being awesome and when they are being awful. 
When they say & do kind things and when they irritate the ever loving tar out of us. 
When they are being sweet and when they are being flat out ridiculous and dumb. 
When they say kind things and when they say things that truly wound & hurt us. 
When they ask us to be there and when they push us away.
When they are there for us and when they let us down. 
 It's what love does. 

Romans 12:9-10 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." 

So today that's my prayer. 
That we would all choose to love. Forgive. Make the call. Reach out. 
Show up. ❤️

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Haven of Hope

Want to order a super cute shirt AND bless grieving mamas at the same time? 
Here's your chance! 

These shirts are a great reminder that Jesus loves you 
and all proceeds will benefit Haven of Hope Ministries.

What is Haven of Hope? 
Haven of Hope ministers to mothers that have suffered the loss of a child and point 
them to our HOPE in Jesus Christ. 
It was started by my precious friend Susan, 
who lost two of her children (Jennifer and Josh) 
as well as her father in a horrible accident in 2002. 


This ministry is a tremendous blessing to ladies 
who are walking the most difficult path imaginable.
Each year Haven of Hope hosts a retreat in the spring where these sweet mothers 
can spend time with others who truly understand their grief and pain. 
All proceeds from the sale of these shirts will go to help fund scholarships for ladies 
that would like attend the retreat but cannot afford to pay the registration fee.


You can find out more about the retreat HERE or join Haven of Hope on Facebook HERE
Shirts come in red, lapis, mint, and asphalt v-neck (NOT slim fit) 
and crew neck red and dark heather. 
All shirts can be ordered at the link below- 
and will be mailed directly to you a few weeks after the 
deadline of June 25th with proceeds going to Haven of Hope.


The Booster is also set up to allow you to make an additional donation or just a flat donation
if you'd like to donate without purchasing a shirt. 
Thank you for helping us to bless some precious mamas!

Friday, June 9, 2017

You are MORE

Do you ever feel like choices you have made make you beyond help? 
That your mistakes are too big and have made you unlovable?
That your failures make you less than others? 

I heard one of my favorite songs on the way to work today, 
You Are More by Tenth Avenue North which is such a beautiful 
reminder of God's redemption.

I so love these lines:
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.
'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.


This song reminds us of God's undeserved incredible grace! 
I think so often we feel the things we've done are too much 
and we don't deserve love and forgiveness. 
But the truth is that no matter how what you have done, 
God is waiting for you. 
Always.
He is waiting with open arms, ready to offer you love & forgiveness. 
He doesn’t care what you’ve done, he doesn’t care who you are; 
He loves you regardless of your past choices, failures, and mistakes.


But because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we are washed completely clean! 

Even though we sin every single day and make mistake after mistake after mistake, 
God still loves us more than we can even know. Isn't that the BEST? 

 
2 Corinthians 5:17 says....
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!
I try to comprehend that fact and it's almost impossible for my little mind to grasp. 

It is so hard to wrap my head around the fact that He loves me no matter what. 
NO MATTER WHAT.
It is not by my own works that I am saved (thank the Lord for that!).
It is only through His sacrifice that I am worth anything at all!
It is because of Him, I am MORE. 


I pray that today (and everyday) we all take the time to thank Him for the fact that He does not give us what we deserve, but that He died for us so we could live FOREVER in eternity with Him. 
I pray that we are reminded that if our worth was determined by our own actions, 
we would be counted as worthless. 
 But with and because of Jesus' ultimate act of love for us, 
we can live and know that with Him, 
we are worth more than our failures and mistakes. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

When Your Faith Gets Tired

Driving to work recently I heard this song and really listened to the words for the first time.


This part brought me to tears...

When my faith gets tired
And my hope seems lost
You spin me round and round
And remind me of that song
The one You wrote for me
And we dance


I hate to admit it but the truth is my faith has been tired before. 
Like.....I'm done God, tired and DONE. 

Have you ever prayed for something over and over and over again
 with what seems like no answer? 
When you feel like God is not hearing you or ignoring you or
 must have better things to do than answer? 

I have. 
For almost 10 years straight I prayed the same prayer.

In the beginning I prayed it every day. 
But as the years passed, I grew weary.
Like tuckered out (that's a Texas word y'all), exhausted, dragging WEARY. 

And to be honest, I'd get a little ticked off at waiting.
I'd get kinda irked at God.
So for a time I would stew about it and fuss at God 
regarding it and stop praying for it.
I'd kinda temporarily give up. 
But then my heart would be reminded that God 
sometimes answers with WAIT instead of yes or no. 
And I'd start praying again. 
For TEN long YEARS I repeated this cycle. 
{That's a long time to pray for something.}



God has lots to say in His word about faith and growing tired. 

One of my favorite verse about faith is:
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20

During that LONG season of waiting, I often felt like this verse in Psalm 22:
"Oh my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest" .
Psalm 22:2

Thankfully I was over and over again reminded that God is GOD, not me. 
And that his plans are always best and better than mine. 

This too is mentioned over and over and over again in His Word:


“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT
Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God’s answers, and remember to be thankful when they come. Don’t forget to pray for us too, that God will give us many chances to preach the Good News of Christ for which I am here in jail. Pray that I will be bold enough to tell it freely and fully and make it plain, as, of course, I should.
Colossians 4: 2-4
“ ‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD.
‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
James 1:2-4 MSG

Over those 10 years I finally realized is that sometimes....
1. God uses those struggles to get our attention. To draw us TO Him. 
2. It is through our weakness that He can show His strength in our lives. HE IS OUR STRENGTH.
3. The answer is yes, no (I have something better for you), or wait/not now. {I don't know about you but that Wait one is hard for me!}



So the hard part is....I don't get to decide the order in which 
what promises are given to me. 
It's not up to me, it's up to Him.  
God's promises for us are bigger than the promises we think He has for us.
 His promises are greater than we could ever imagine. 


My prayer was answered- after 10 long years-but not in a way 
I would ever have guessed or imagined. 
But it WAS answered. In God's time, not Shannon's time.  


Monday, May 29, 2017

June Scripture Writing Plan: Who I am in Christ

Happy almost June friends!
The new topical plan for this month is over the topic of Who I am in Christ. 

If you ever struggle with who you are, (and if you are enough)
 this list of Biblical truths will reveal exactly who God made you to be.
You need to truly know who you are in Christ so that you can live your life as God intended.
God's opinion is the ONLY one that matters. 

My prayer is that every verse will be a reminder of your true position in 
Christ because of victory won at the Cross.

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.


You can find a copy of the plan in English and Spanish
and a plain copy of each in the folder HERE.

At the suggestion of a blog reader, I also decided to do
a fun iPhone lock screen with the plan on it.
You can download a copy of it HERE.


This is the plan for the month of June from last year
which is topical plan on Forgiveness.



You can copies of those plans to print out for yourself in the folder  HERE.
For those that have asked, there is also a blank form 
to write your verses on that can be found HERE

Friday, May 12, 2017

Hiding God's Word in Your Heart

I had the great honor of speaking at a women's retreat this past weekend
 and it was such a sweet and precious time.  
As an added bonus one of my college roommates is the women's ministry director 
for the church so it was a fun time getting to visit and catch up with her. 
Her church is full of some sweet, precious, and FUN ladies who 
love the Lord and each other and we had such a great weekend!

The theme for the weekend was Anchored and one of the topics 
I spoke on was being Anchored to God's word.  

I truly believe that God's word anchors us to Him and is what 
directs us to fulfill our purpose in life. 
It is God himself that gives His word power, 
and it is in and through His word that we encounter Him. 
Reading and meditating on God's word builds our relationship with Him stronger. 

Several years ago after my brain surgery, I had a few weeks where reading 
or listing to anything was very difficult for me.  
Not being able to read my Bible truly changed me and
 made me want to read and memorize as much scripture as I possibly could- 
in case that were ever to happen again. 

In America we have such amazing access to God's word- 
(I personally have 15 bibles in my house and access on my computer, phone, iPad, etc.)
but that is not always the case and who knows when that access could be taken away.