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!}

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

How do you smell?

I think every person has a unique smell and have strong sense-memories tied to lots of people in my life. When I was in high school and college I worked at Neiman Marcus in Houston. It was a super fun job and part of working there meant I was able to purchase things at a discount (which is good because without it, my poor young self would not have been able to buy anything there!). One of the few things I purchased was a bottle of perfume. The perfume was French (with a name I cannot pronounce) and I loved that I didn’t know anyone else who wore it. For the past 30+ years, I’ve worn that same perfume consistently. While I have other perfumes it’s the one I wear almost daily and still love so. One day during the summer while I was in college, I was shopping at Target. I was standing in an aisle completely alone when I heard a voice say…”Shannon, where are you?”. Since I had come to the store alone and couldn’t see anyone, I thought this was super weird until a friend popped his head around the corner. I asked how he knew I was there and he said…”I knew you were here because I smelled your perfume. That’s your smell so I knew you were close by. I just followed my nose!”.

Did you know that everywhere we go, at ALL times, we are spreading the aroma of Jesus? It’s true. It doesn’t matter if we want to or not, much like my perfume reminds people who k ow me of me, as believers our aroma reminds others of Christ.

2 Corinthians ‪2: 15-16‬ says…. 
For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

Because He lives in us and through us- God’s aroma is detectable by others around us. And here’s what is super important to remember: We ARE a fragrance to God regardless of if we want to be or not and regardless of the response of others. As believers of Christ we proclaim the gospel. Period. In the midst of suffering or rejection- we are still the aroma of Christ. On our good days and our bad days- we are the aroma of Christ. On the days we give lots of grace and mercy and show heaps of kindness- we are the aroma of Christ. On the days we are short-tempered and rude and crankypants- we are the aroma of Christ. It should be apparent to others that we have something in our lives that is not natural, but supernatural. We should radiate God to all those around us. We don’t get to choose when we want to be this- we are, every single day. We either smell like a 13 year old boy with BO and wearing tons of AXE body spray OR we smell like the most glorious Anthropology candle- the choice is ours. My prayer today is that others are drawn to Christ by our sweet aroma, not forced away by our stinky stench. I pray that others see Him in us and want to know Him too!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Proof that you are LOVED

Do you ever feel unloved? Unworthy? Unimportant?
{Yep. Me too. All the stinking time.}

But here’s the good news…
You don’t have to FEEL loved.
You don’t have to DESERVE love.
You don't have to do anything to EARN love.
You simply ARE loved.
Because God says so.

Need some Biblical proof? Here you go!

Our feeling loved or unloved has nothing to do with the reality of God’s love for us- thank goodness! 
Our feelings of being loved or unloved cannot stand in the way of God’s truth that WE ARE LOVED.
It doesn’t matter how we feel, God still loves us. 
It doesn’t matter if we are worthy of His love, God still loves us. 
It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, God still loves us.
My prayer for today is that we are reminded of this powerful truth: 
You ARE loved.

If you'd like to print out this reminder, you can do so HERE.

Friday, May 31, 2019

DIY Giant Word Wall

When people visit our new house or see pictures of it, one of the things I get asked
 about the most is our giant word wall. It's truly one of my favorite things! 
I thought I would share how we put it together for 
anyone who is interested in making their own. 

As we worked to build our new home over the past year, 
I started gathering ideas for decorating. We knew we'd be buying lots of new furniture and I really wanted to change the look of our house so it was more modern farmhouse(ish) so I gathered tons of ideas. It was super fun shopping and looking at and dreaming of different ideas. One night while looking on Pinterest (I so love Pinterest- if you do too, you can follow me here!) I came across a picture that linked to Joanna Gaines Instagram of a wall in her home. I was immediately smitten 
and knew that I had to have a wall like hers in our new house. 

I immediately started thinking about how to make the wall and where to get the letters. 
I shared the idea with my sweet husband who is super handy and can make
 just about anything I dream up (I have the ideas, he makes them happen- we are a good team!) and he said it would be super easy. Hip hip hooray!

I found the letters on  Ebay . There are tons of different options based on the size you'd like, but the set I purchased were 8 inch tall letters and included 176 numbers and letters. 
The letters/numbers are hard plastic and super durable.
The set I purchased were $59.98 which was the best price I found in all of my searching. 
(Search 8 inch Flexible Outdoor Portable Marquee Sign Letters)
If your space is smaller, you'll want smaller letters- 
my space happens to be large so I had room for the big ones. 

Once we had the letters I asked my husband to figure out the rest and of course he did. 
On the first weekend in our new house- when there were tons of other things he needed to do- he finished this project for me because he knew how much I wanted it up. 
How sweet is he? 

He went to  Lowe's (new house means a million trips to Lowe's) 
and purchased five 1x2 boards. 
He cut each board 60 inches long and stained them to match our beams. 
He hung the boards 10 inches apart since the letters are 8 inches tall, 
centered them on the wall, and nailed them up using a nail gun.
Originally he planned to cut a small channel in the boards
 to hold the letters but we found that it wasn't necessary. 
He said he would take them down and cut one if needed but I've never 
had a single letter fall so it truly wasn't needed 
because they sit on the board and lean on the wall.

I love love love how it turned out and thinking of new things to put on it is so fun!
I love that it can be used for scripture and quotes but also for holidays 
and celebrating anything or anyone visiting. 

A few last things....
Because I like things tidy I bought an accordion file to put my letters in 
so it's easy and quick to find the letters I need.  I bought mine on Amazon here

I started an album of the different sayings I put on my wall on Facebook. 
You can find it on my Facebook page HERE!
I also usually post pics of it on Instagram HERE

Thursday, May 30, 2019

You are God's Masterpiece

I’ve got news for you. You know that girl? The one who you look at and think “Man, I wish I could be more like her. She has a great life, a beautiful home, a perfect family, a full bank account, the best job, tons of friends and seems to have it all together.” The one you compare your life with and think “I want to be like her when I grow up. Everything in her life is so great and if my life were like hers I’d be happy.” (We all have a girl like that in our lives- I know I sure do!) That girl doesn’t have it all together and her life is far from perfect- no matter what it looks like on the outside.. Seriously she DOES NOT. She has struggles and pain and daily feels like she is a big giant mess. She’s lonely and feels left out and often thinks she’s a huge fat failure. She’s flawed and anxious and worries about her marriage and her family. She fails at things daily, loses her temper (no matter how nice she seems on social media) and often lays awake at night on the regular worrying that she’s not smart enough or strong enough or spiritual enough and just not plain enough. She fears rejection and embarrassment and struggles with her weight and her bank account. She yells at her kids, is rude to her husband, and cries over broken relationships. That girl? She’s just like you and you have to stop comparing yourself to her and wishing that you had her life. Why? Because that’s exactly what Satan wants you to do.

Did you know that comparison is one of Satan’s greatest tools? It is. He loves to have us compare ourselves with others like “that girl” so that he can sabotage God’s plans for our lives. He encourages us to compare because that comparison can cause us to give up on what God is calling US to do. He wants us to compare our weaknesses to someone else’s strengths and that’s just plain not fair. We must never forget what Satan is trying to do. John 10:10 tells us exactly what he’s doing: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;”. Not just mess with us and our lives- he is out to kill, steal, and destroy us. He’s not playing- he is serious and we must remember that always.

Each of us is created uniquely and specifically by God. YOU were created uniquely and specifically by God. When we compare ourselves to others we are saying that we are not satisfied with how God created us which is actually an insult to our creator. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others- but instead to compare ourselves to the word of God and our obedience to it. God made me and you exactly as we are- on purpose. We each have a purpose that NO one else can fulfill.

He reminds us of this in Psalm 139: 13-18 says:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
How amazing is that? Every single one of us was formed by God in our mother’s womb- hand knit in the exact way that our creator desired. He created us and y’all...He doesn’t make mistakes. Ever.

My prayer today is that we are reminded that God created each of us specifically and uniquely and for a purpose. That we remember that He made only one of us and He did so to fulfill something that only we could do. That we stop comparing ourselves with others, wishing to be “that girl” because God hand picked each of our abilities- every single one (and also, "that girl"'s life is far from perfect- I promise). That we stop looking at others and what they are and have, and instead focus on God’s word and what He says. He created us, He loves us, and He put us in this world for a purpose- we are His masterpiece.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Fab Books on Sale This Week

Looking for some books to read this summer? 
There are some Kindle books that are on sale for a great price. 
Here are a few of my favorites:

Kid Books

June Scripture Writing Plan: Light

Happy almost June sweet friends!

The scripture writing plan this month is over
something we are all called to be: Light
True confession: There are days when I wake up a giant grump and can barely stand myself. I know I'm called to be a light for Jesus but on those days, I truthfully want to wallow in my crankiness and forget the things God calls me to do- like be a light for Him. I must remind myself every single day (especially on those cranky pant days) that I am called to do so, regardless of...
  • how many things are on my to-do list
  • how tired or scared or anxious I am
  • how many cranky pants people I encounter
  • how many struggles & problems I have currently in my life
  • how people treat me
  • how many things don't go my way today (because things WILL go wrong, we can count on it!)
  • how tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed I am
  • how many things/people I am worried about right now
Friends, we are called to be a light-bearer for Him, REGARDLESS of the circumstances going on in our lives. We are called to be a light- NO MATTER WHAT. Matthew 5:16  says... 
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." NIV

If you are in a dark room, you know it doesn't take much light to make a huge difference (that little sliver of light between the curtains in a dark hotel room can drive you batty!). In a world of darkness it only takes us shining a tiny bit to have a huge impact. How? We take IN the Light through time reading and studying God’s word, and shine OUT the light by loving others, sharing the Gospel with them, and using the amazing gifts and opportunities God has gifted us with. When we do, His light will pour through us in powerful, brilliant ways that can change the world. 

My prayer is that as you write these verses this month you are daily reminded that you are called to be a light- regardless of your feelings and circumstances. I pray that they remind you to shine brightly to every single person you encounter and remind them that you are the ONLY hope in this dark, scary world. 

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!}

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Satan's Lies

Satan is a murderer, a liar, a deceiver, a destroyer. And he is sneaky- super sneaky and gosh he is crafty. He knows that we love and believe God’s word and so what does he often do? He doesn’t just whisper lies to us, he studies and distorts God’s word and tries to get us to believe some misinterpretation of it.
God reminded us of this in His word. In John 8:44 it says: 
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
I recently shared over on Instagram (If you don’t follow me there, you should- I often share in Instagram stories my morning devotions- plus lots of random things like views from my porch, bargain finds, our new house, and my super cute dogs! Link to my Instagram at the bottom of this post.) some of the lies that Satan whispers in my ears.
He likes to tell me things like:
-You are a terrible wife.
-Your friends don’t really like you.
-You are an awful mother.
-If people really knew you, they wouldn’t like you.
-You are a big fat fake.
-You are useless and don’t make a difference to anybody.
-God will never forgive you for________
-You don't do enough and the things you do don't make a difference.
I then shared how I use scripture to combat those lies. I am a firm believer that knowing God’s word, truly knowing it- is the only way to combat Satan’s lies. Over on Instagram I asked for folks to share the lies that Satan whispers to them and shared some truths from the Bible for folks to focus on instead of those stinky lies. What was so interesting to me was how many of those lies Satan whispers are the exact same for many of us. Over and over and over again I got messages with things Satan was whispering to them. Things like…....”I am not enough. My mistakes will always define me. The things I’ve done are unforgivable. I am not worthy.”
My prayer today is that you are reminded Satan is a destroyer, his target is your mind and heart, and his weapons are LIES. I pray that when he whispers in your ear (because he will) that you are able to turn to God’s word which is the TRUTH and remind yourself of how very wrong he is.
I plan to spend the next few weeks sharing some of these lies and a truth or two to combat each one but would love to hear the lies that Satan whispers specifically to YOU. Would you please leave a comment below or message me with any of those lies that sneaky Satan whispers in your ear for me to add to my list? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Darkness and Light

I always say that “May IS CRAY!” because for those of us in education (and those with children in school) it truly seems to be the busiest and craziest month of the year. In May there are so many things that need to be completed before school lets out for the summer and so many special activities (field days and award assemblies and recitals OH MY!) that many of us are crazy busy, over extended, and just plain old tuckered out (how’s that for a Texan word y’all?). Because of this it seems like in May I often run into lots of cranky pants people who are really short with others, impatient and not always very kind. When I run into those type of people I often wonder, am I being that way too? Am I letting my tiredness, or the circumstances of my day dictate my attitude? 

I have been reading scriptures about light this month and I love Matthew 5:14-16 in the Message which says…
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
We are called to be a light-bearer for Him, regardless of the circumstances going on in our lives. We are called to share God with those around us by being a light. The only way to get rid of darkness is to add more light. I think sometimes we all (I know I do!) make excuses for not being a light for him.

I must remind myself each day that I am called to be a light-bearer, regardless of...
  • how many things are on my to-do list (no matter how long it is)
  • how many cranky pants people I encounter (no matter how rude they are)
  • how many struggles & problems I have currently in my life
  • how I feel emotionally or physically
  • how many things don't go my way today (because things WILL go wrong, we can count on it!)
  • how tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed I am
  • how many things/people I am worried about right now

My prayer today is that we shine brightly for Him to everyone we encounter, because He is the ONLY hope we have in this dark , dark world. I pray that we make it a priority to spend time with Him so that His light pours out of us in powerful, brilliant ways- so brightly that others can’t help but notice. I pray that when it seems darkness is everywhere around us, that we point others to you- the only light that will never fade and never burn out. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

God of Second Chances

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. 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 is that? My prayer today is that you are able to let go of any guilt  you are clinging to and trust Him to work out whatever went wrong. I pray that you are reminded that God is the god of second chances (and 3rd and 4th and…) and His mercy endures FOREVER and EVER.