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. 


Monday, May 6, 2019

God Can Make a Way Where There Is No Way

Have you ever been in a difficult time or situtation and there seems to literally be NO way out? Some situations seem (and are) completely impossible. Situations where there truly is no way. No way- outside of the almighty and all powerful God. 

When diagnosed with a brain tumor in the summer of 2013, I met with two neurosurgeons- one in Temple & one at MD Anderson in Houston. After those meetings & after the extensive research I did, I knew I absolutely wanted my surgery done by the incredible, expert surgeons at MDA but ...my insurance denied saying the surgeon in Temple was perfectly fine & in my insurance network so I would have to have surgery performed there. But in true God fashion, through a series of events that were clearly orchestrated only by and through Him, God allowed me to change insurance companies AFTER my brain tumor diagnosis so that MD Anderson was in my insurance network. My new insurance took effect on 9-1-13 and I had a 12 hour super successful brain surgery on 9-13-13 at MDA. God CAN make a way where there is no way. God WILL make a way where there is no way. 

In Genesis 22:9-14 Abraham found himself in a situation that seemed hopeless when he took his beloved son Isaac, his only son, up to the mountain to sacrifice him before God. And in this situation- where there seemed to be NO way out of it- God made a way. 

Isaiah 43:16-21 says….
This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen,  the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. NIV

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. My prayer today is that no matter what the problem or mountain or difficulty you are facing- you are reminded….there is NOTHING too big or scary or impossible for God. NOTHING. God can make a way where there is no way. #notesinmybible 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

May Scripture Writing Plan: Self Control

Happy almost May sweet friends!

The scripture writing plan this month is over
something many of us struggle with:
Self Control

Self control is just flat out HARD. 
Doing what God's word says always involves a choice for us. 
And truthfully, those choices usually go against what we WANT to do. 
We don't like denying ourselves of the things we want. 
We want what we want (chocolate, a new car, new clothes, a bigger house, a better figure, 
to fight to be right, etc) and we want it right now- with NO waiting! 
Our world is full of instant gratification. 
We make excuse after excuse for why we "deserve" things or don't want to do things 
(like exercise) or have the right to be angry about things. 

We often say things in our defense like.....
"Well, that's just how I am, I can't help it. I can't resist _______ 
(fill in the blank: alcohol, sweets, gossip, drugs, chocolate, etc). "
But truthfully? That's a big old lie. 
We are children of God Almighty who was created for more. 
Satan loves to whisper lies in our ears to get us to believe him. 

God knew that we would try and fail to do things in our own power. 
With our human effort alone, and with the devil working hard to get us to fail, 
it can seem impossible to have self-control. 
Thankfully with God- all things are possible. With God, self control is possible. 
The Lord knew we would struggle with this and so thankfully there are
 many verses about self-control in God's word. 
He reminds us over and over again that we are to have self-control, 
it's even one of the fruits of the spirit. 
We just have to ask him to help us and He promises
that He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can handle.

As we chose to do what God's word says, we grow more like Him and self-control
 becomes more evident in our lives. My prayer is that these verses are a comfort 
to you when you are working to be more disciplined in any area of your life.


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!}

Monday, April 29, 2019

Who God is

Several weeks ago I started a list in my Bible Study notebook of things I know about God. Not a list of God's names (which is also a great list to keep) but a list of things I know to be true about Him according to His word. I've so enjoyed adding to the list as I read my Bible. For each item I list a Bible verse to reference. Here's what I have so far:

Jesus is:
  • Way-making
  • Me-loving
  • Promise-keeping
  • Battle-winning
  • Grace-giving
  • Sin-forgiving
  • Miracle-performing
  • Million chance-giving
  • Water-walking
  • Body-healing
  • Storm-stilling
  • Comfort-giving
  • Counsel-speaking
  • Mercy Extending

I think a list like this is such a sweet reminder when we are going through something difficult or when we are struggling to remember God's goodness and faithfulness. Psalm 103:2 which says...Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me." NLT This little list is helping me do just that?

So, what would you add to the list?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

God is sovereign, even in our disappointments

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we hope or envision. Sometimes we have to grieve a different ending to something in our life than the one we hoped for, dreamed for, prayed for. And it’s perfectly okay to grieve that unexpected ending that didn’t turn out the way we wanted. God understands our disappointment. I’m so thankful that a different ending than the one I had planned in my head or prayed for DOES NOT mean that God has changed His character or His mind about me. I’m reminded of this in Psalm 147:5 which says…
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
My prayer for us today is that when we have a difficult time understanding God’s plan, we are reminded that instead of asking “Where is God in all of this?” we just need to ask God to help us see His work in the situation. That we are reminded that God’s fingerprints are all over His handiwork-even when bad, scary things happen. He can take those terrible things and redeem them until we can’t even recognize them. God is mighty and sovereign, even in my disappointments.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

And if not...He is still good!



Life can be be just plain hard y’all. I seem to be in a season of life when so many around me are hurting & struggling. Friends with children and parents battling cancer, friends with serious relationship issues with those they love, friends battling addiction and big work issues, friends fighting for custody of their children and dealing with abusive and dangerous ex spouses, friends with broken and bruised hearts, friends with serious financial issues. No doubt you too can name many folks dealing with heartache and heartbreak and struggle.

I feel like I spend much of my day praying to God to comfort and care for those friends- praying that they would feel His mighty arms around them. And as I pray God draws me over and over again to my favorite verse- Daniel 3:18. Daniel 3 tells the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. If you don't know the story, basically King Nebuchadnezzar creates a golden statue that he requires everyone to bow down to. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are respectful to Nebuchadnezzar but refuse to bow before his statue. In verses 17-18 they say..

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Basically they are saying….God CAN save us from this but if he does not, we will still love Him and He is still good. Needless to say King Neb is NOT happy. The three are thrown into a fiery furnace, but they emerge unscathed- without a single hair on their head burnt. Nebuchadnezzar is impressed and he promotes the three to important public positions and emphatically praises their God.

I love this story because sometimes, the answers we get when we pray are hard to swallow and the road we must travel is not an easy one. Sometimes we may feel we are being dropped in a fiery furnace. BUT, regardless of the things of this world we must go through, He IS still good- even when our circumstances are not. Our circumstances are not going to change what Christ has done for us. He is still my hope, because of what He has already done, not what the circumstances are doing to me.


And if not…..He is still the King Most High.
And if not…..He still loves us more than we can ever imagine.
And if not…..He is still good.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

April Scripture Writing Plan: Waiting on God

Happy almost April sweet friends!
The scripture writing plan this month is over something many struggle with:
Waiting on God
Waiting stinks. It goes against just about everything in our world today. Everyone wants everything RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Instant. Immediate gratification. On demand. We have become a culture that thinks waiting is beneath us and all things should come to us super quickly- and when they don’t? Goodness, do we tend to get irritated and angry! Waiting at a light, food delivery taking longer than expected, packages not arriving in 2 days, downloading something on your computer- all are things that can turn most of us into crankypants super fast!

Part of the reason why we struggle with waiting is because we often equate waiting with inactivity and inactivity with being unproductive. But honestly waiting, which can also be translated as hoping, means to wait with expectation, to look for. My precious puppy Poppy (seriously- she is the cutest puppy EVER) is a perfect example of how we should wait. During dinner she will sit by my chair staring up at me without blinking or moving. She does this because she knows I will give her the last bite on my plate. She doesn't bark or jump, she just waits, patiently and quietly. She does so because over time I have proved to her that I can be trusted and when the time is right, I WILL share with her. 

Waiting is something that puts us in a position to experience more of God’s love and grace in our lives- WHILE we wait. So often waiting gives us an opportunity to see God work in ways we COULD NOT and WOULD NOT see otherwise. During these periods of waiting God is often refueling and refining us for what He has in store. God knows that we would never choose to wait, so He provides opportunities to wait in order to see that His way is actually the best way. He uses the wait to grow our faith as we acknowledge our need for Him and learn to trust Him. God never wastes our waiting. He uses it to do a work in our lives so that He can do a work through our lives.

My prayer is that these verses are a comfort to you when you are in a season of waiting on the Lord.



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, March 21, 2019

The Lifter of My Head


I noticed recently that most of the time that I see people walking alone, they are doing so with their heads hanging down low- as if they are weighed down by the burdens they are carrying on their shoulders. In a school, on the sidewalk, at the grocery store- head down. They don’t make eye-contact and seem to be cautious and guarded. It is as if they don’t want to be seen. Fixing their eyes on the floor appears to be their way of avoiding being noticed. After noticing this I have caught myself several times lately doing the exact same thing- usually when I am deep in thought or worried or discouraged. You may be in that place today-head down, feeling like your situation is hopeless, that everything is going wrong and you simply can’t get your head above water. You may feel alone and discouraged. If that is you today, I have some good news!

I recently read Psalm 3:3 and loved it so. It says... 
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (ESV)
It is important to know that David wrote this beautiful Psalm during the absolute worst time in his life. His son, Absalom, wanted his father’s crown and had launched a plot to assassinate him. Those closest to him (not strangers- his closest friends), those who he trusted and placed his confidence in, were now those who against him and were actually trying to kill him. Poor David was betrayed, crushed and heartbroken and forced to flee his palace and Jerusalem in fear for his life. Psalm 3 was his written plea to God.

In this verse he reminds himself (and us) of three things he knows to be true about God. One, God is a shield. Now a shield doesn’t mean that you won’t have arrows shot at you- just that you’ll have protection from those arrows. Two, God is his glory since he has no glory of his own. Third, God is the one who lifts his head. He is defeated and depressed and his head is hung in shame. He is confident though that God will lift his head and restore his hope.

When we are looking down, our eyes are only fixed on a small area of the ground below us. What we see is a very limited space. But when God lifts our head and we look up- we see the whole horizon before us and all that God has created and has in store for us. My sweet friend Gina is from Kentucky and I remember the first time she visited us in Texas. She kept mentioning the “big sky”. Finally I asked her what she meant, because the sky was the same in Texas that it was in Kentucky. She explained that because of the mountains in KY, the view of the sky was limited. But since Texas is so flat, the horizon is huge. In other words, BIG SKY. I like to think of God lifting my head and me noticing that big, huge sky- and all the other things He has created.

Is your head down today? Look up sweet friend. God is with you in the dark places. He sees you there. He is a shield around you. He is the glory. He is the lifter of your head. He loves you so. My prayer for you today is that you would call on His mighty name and ask him for help now- allow Him to lift your head.

Fun and Encouraging Pencils


Who loves fun pencils? I'm a nerdy lover of all kinds of office supplies and I LOVE pencils with sayings on them! I recently printed a bunch of pencils with fun sayings on them and added them to my ETSY store. I have a set that say YOU ARE LOVED GREATLY and a set of 10 different sayings (some funny and some sweet) that I just listed. These pencils would make a fun little gift or as a treat for yourself! I have a limited supply but based on the sales of these, I will be adding more!

COUPON CODE: From March 19-April 1st spend $20 or more and get 20% off using the code 20FOR20

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Surrender

As we remodeled our current house to get it ready to sell we did a lot of packing and a LOT of moving furniture. And many times as we prepared to pick up a piece of heavy furniture, my husband (who is 6 feet tall and 250+ lbs and way larger than I am at 5ft 2ish) would give me a little pep talk because I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to lift and carry my side of the load. I would usually start saying things like…."I don’t know if I can carry this. I don’t think I can carry this. What if I drop my side? What if I throw my back out?" And because he’s incredibly patient and awesome (and was probably tired of listening to my worries and concerns), he came up with some things to help me. He purchased some moving straps (they are awesome!) and a flat dolly to stick under my side of the furniture. He would often carry the heavier part of the load and sometimes place a chair so that I could set the furniture down on it when I needed to rest for a minute. These were all things he put in place to support me, to help me, to keep me from harm. But he only did those things because I shared my fears with him and was willing and open to accept his help.

I think that’s how God is with us- He is there, always- ready to take on the many burdens we have on our shoulders. He’s there ready and willing to help it’s just that we just have to turn to Him because we aren’t meant to carry those burdens alone. We must deliberately place them on God’s shoulders and share our burdens- all of them- with Him. Sometimes I think we don’t feel God is with us, because we simply haven’t reached Him to help us, we simply don’t surrender to Him. Sometimes it’s out of pride, sometimes out of fear, and sometimes out of ignorance- but no matter the cause, we just don’t go to Him and share our burdens with Him. We just keeping trying to operate in our strength, are overwhelmed and fail, miserably. 

He reminds us of this many times in the bible including in Psalm 55:22-23 which says…
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. NIV

Today if your burdens feel too heavy to bear, my prayer is that you are reminded that God is there, ready to help you carry them. I pray that if you are feeling overwhelmed today, that you pour out your heart in prayer to our Heavenly Father —holding absolutely nothing back. Lean on and into Him. Surrender to Him. And that when you feel that burden lightening even the slightest bit, that you remember to thank Him for His goodness and His faithfulness. He’s there waiting to help you. Lean on and into Him. Surrender.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

March Scripture Writing Plan: Encouragement

Happy almost March sweet friends!
The scripture writing plan this month is over something we all need from time to time:
Encouragement

There are days when everything seems to go wrong and literally everything you touch seems to fall apart. Life can often be full of sadness and trials and pain.  We can easily begin to feel sad and overwhelmed by all of the terrible things happening in our broken world today. We know in our heads that God is our strength and is with us always, but sometimes it is difficult for our battered and bruised hearts to remember that truth. It's easy to question our worth 
and for us to even occasionally lose hope.

Thankfully God's word is full of encouraging and uplifting reminders to remain steadfast in HIM. These verses can help us when we are down and feeling discouraged.  These verses remind us that He is with us, in the stinky and difficult times. He hasn't left- He is there, always.
Our only hope is to look to Jesus and that's where each of these verses point us- to Him! He is our comforter, I pray that these verses will encourage you 
when you are feeling down and bless you greatly!




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!}

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

On our honeymoon my husband and I went on a fabulous cruise for 7 days. We were seated at dinner each night with a couple who were also newlyweds. The husband was very short and round, quite a bit older than his bride and a little on the nerdy side. His bride was younger and very, very beautiful. It was obvious after just a few minutes of sitting with them that he was enamored with her and seemed to need LOTS of reassuring from her. So much so that at least once a minute he uttered the words….”I love you so muchhhhhhhh”. Each time he said it to his new bride he would stop and wait for her to confirm her love in return. I’m not exaggerating- he would stop mid-sentence in a conversation to someone else and say the exact same words (“I love you so muchhhhhhh”) every few minutes. It happened so often that it became comical and Tony and I even started to count the number of times he said it during a single meal and were always in the double digits.

At the time I thought it was so funny but honestly if I think about it, I’m the same way- so often needing reassurance that I’m really and truly loved because I often feel so unworthy.. I have a secret fear that I think many people also have but don’t like to admit. Deep down I fear that if people really knew me, the true me- all of the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of me- the things I think and the things I say under my breath in anger or frustration- they wouldn’t truly love me. I think we all feel that way about people and even about God at times and we question His love for us. Thankfully our Lord knew we would struggle with this and over and over and over again in His word He tells of us His great love for us! 

1 John 3:1 says….
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! NIV

I love the word lavish. It doesn’t mean He just kinda, sorta loves us. It means that He over the top, extravagantly, generously love us with extravagant abundance. His love isn’t based on how we behave or how we perform (thank goodness!). Our perfect Heavenly Father loves us- no matter what. His love is the same today and tomorrow- it is constant and infinite. He loves us on the days we mess up and on the days when we do things right. He adores us, truly. And there isn’t a single way we can earn that love and our status as His children. It’s just an undeserving gift He bestows on us- His immense love for us. The God of the universe loves you and He loves me. Right where we are right now. Deeply and passionately. He loves us 100%. The percent we receive is up to us.

My prayer today is that today you are reminded that despite all your fears, worries and imperfections, He loves you lavishly and calls you His beloved child. I pray that you are able to receive His love today- remembering that it's not based on what you do, but on who God says your are- His.

Friday, February 15, 2019

God's Plans vs My Plans

In case you need a reminder today......

God’s plans are:
-Greater than your fears
-Better than your dreams
-Good- even when they don’t feel good

Proverbs 19:21 says….
Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
My prayer today is that you are reminded that when your plans fall apart (and they will), the Lord is there with you, working in ways you may not see or understand. That you hold tightly to Him and surrender your plans to Him- trusting in His greatness and His goodness. I pray that you hold fast to the truth that God’s purposes are perfect and so much greater than our own earthly plans. He has a purpose and it is good.
“When our plans are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable).” -Elisabeth Elliot

Monday, February 11, 2019

In the Absence of Truth, Lies Reign

Satan is a big, fat, stinky liar. He’s an evil impostor, a deceiver, a creep who lies to us in tons of sneaky ways to get us to believe his lies. To get us to sin. To convince us that the way of the world is better than the way of our Savior. To get us to believe that we deserve the things we want and the pleasures of this world. To cause us to feel that we are worthless and irredeemable and awful. And every single lie he convinces us to believe sets us up for failure. He does this is so many ways- and one that is terrifying to me is when he whispers to me.

My mama was a super sweet lady. I know it’s hard to believe but as a child I occasionally sometimes often misbehaved. And if my misbehavior happened somewhere away from home, my mama would never yell. Nope. What she would do was way, way scarier than yelling. I actually think I would have preferred yelling. What she would do was she would lean down and whisper quietly in my ear. And that whisper? Was terrifying and almost always caused me to do exactly what she said, immediately. Sometimes whispers are way scarier (and more effective) than loud voices. Especially when they are from upset mamas and from evil, stinky Satan.

John 10:10 says…
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. NIV
Here are just a few of the MANY, MANY lies that Satan often tries to get me to believe:
1. I am alone. (lie)
2.I need to be perfect. (lie)
3.God is not good because if He was He would____________. (lie)
4.If _____ will happen, I’ll be happy. (lie)

It’s tempting for me to believe the lies of Satan because he’s crafty. The second I believe and start acting on those lies there are consequences and so I must constantly combat those lies with the TRUTH. The truth found only in God’s word.

When I start to hear Satan whispering in my ear, here are some of the truths I focus on to drown out his lies: :
1. Christ is with me always. I am never alone. Hebrews 13:5
2. God does not expect perfection from me, He expects obedience. John 14:23
3. God is good. Psalm 100:5 and Romans 8:28
4. I can be happy now and forever because Jesus has redeemed me. Isaiah 48:17

Sweet friends, we MUST replace Satan's lies with TRUTH. Every single thought. Every single emotion. Every single lie. We must take them captive to obey Christ. Because when we do, guess what? They die. In the absence of truth, lies reign. And when truth reigns, those lies die.


My prayer for us today is that when we are tempted to believe lies from Satan that we are immediately reminded of who we belong to- Christ. That when we start to hear Satan whispering in our ears, Jesus speaks words of truth over our hearts. That our first instinct when we hear those whispers would to be to run to God's word for reminders of who we are and who He is- loyal, trustworthy, our Abba father who loves us so and came to give us eternal life.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

This Day is Yours Lord

This is my prayer today and everyday. 

You can print a copy of this prayer  HERE


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

February Scripture Writing Plan: Health and Healing

Happy almost February sweet friends!
The scripture writing plan this month is over a topic that has often been requested: 
Health and Healing

God has many names for himself in the Bible and I love that each one 
was revealed to His people at the exact perfect time they needed to hear it. 
One of my favorite names of God is Jehovah Rapha which means The God who Heals. 
Jehovah Rapha's mighty hands have the power to heal us-
physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 

He reveled this name to His people in Exodus 15:26 where it says....
He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
Healing is hard and often a super lengthy process. 
When I think about healing I think back to my brain surgery in 2013. 
For those 12 hours or surgery I was asleep and felt zero pain (praise the Lord!). 
But once I woke up and as all of the pain medicine started to wear off? 
Y'all that pain was incredible and at times almost unbearable. 
I remember saying to my family.....
"I didn't realize it would hurt when I woke up"
 which was ridiculous since I knew that they were doing super invasive, 
super complicated BRAIN SURGERY!
I have a pretty high pain tolerance and my pain in the beginning was about a 12. 
My healing from that surgery took a long time. 
As much as I prayed it would happen quickly, it truly took months and months. 
Long months of therapy and rest and medicine. 

Physical wounds take time to heal but so do emotional and heart hurts. 
The healing often hurts way more than the actual wound 
and sometimes healing takes a really, really long time which can be super discouraging.
It is easy to grow weary while waiting for healing. 

Our sweet Lord is able to provide both physical and spiritual healing and there 
are many verses in the bible related to our health and healing. 
My prayer is that as you read and write the verses this month that they 
are a comfort to you and a reminder that God still heals. 
That each verse reminds you that no matter what needs healing in your life- 
your body, your heart, or your mind- God has the power to heal you. 
Only He can completely heal broken hearts and make us whole again. 
You can rely on God's power to heal you and I pray that these verses encourage you.






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!}

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Though the Mountains May Crumble, You Will Not.


If you are facing something that seems impossible to overcome today, I am so sorry. I so wish I had a magic wand and could make all those awful, scary, horrible things disappear. Sadly I do not but I DO have some good news for you: No matter how big or scary or insurmountable the path in front of you may be, God is with you as you walk it. 

He promises us this in Isaiah 54:10 which says….
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. NIV

Even in the darkness, He has not removed His love from you and NOTHING (seriously NOTHING) will cause Him to. You can count on Him, when there is nothing else you can count on. Even as life may seem to crumble around you, He is there. No matter how awful life gets, no matter if you feel your faith is weary and worn and almost gone, no matter if the things you thought were immovable are falling apart all around you- He is right there with you. Cling to Him and to His word. He will hold your hand. He will hold you up. He will carry you. 


My prayer today is that you are reminded that God is always faithful and compassionate towards you. That you are reminded that the events of this day (and every single day) will not have any effect on how He loves you. That you remember that though the mountains may shake and crumble, with Him by your side, YOU WILL NOT.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

God is Working in Your Waiting

I remember the day so vividly. I had picked up my then 3 year old daughter from daycare and we were headed to a birthday party for one of her church friends. I didn’t know this family well and realized as I buckled her in the car seat that if we didn’t hurry we would be late. I HATE being late and so I rushed to get in the car quickly and zoomed out of the parking lot. Of course it was around 5pm and traffic was super heavy. I got stopped at every single light and was fussing and fuming out loud because I knew that we were going to be late to the party and I was so stinking frustrated. There was a pickup truck in front of me filled with junk in the bed of the truck. There was a HUGE, heaping mound of things- tools, ice chests, trash, furniture including a large round table upside down on the top of the pile. Seriously, you name it, it was in the back of that truck not tied down. As we approached a light that was turning yellow, the truck started slowing down and I yelled ”NOOOOOOO don’t stop!” but of course, he did. Steam coming from my ears, we sat through yet another red light. The truck turned right on red (which is legal here in Texas) and started to get on the on ramp of the highway- which is also what I was planning to do. I watched from my spot at the red light as he increased his speed and as he did, that huge pile of junk started to move and that giant, heavy round table, flew out of the back of the truck, into the air and landed smack dab in the middle of the road. Exactly where my car would have been IF I hadn’t had to wait at the light. The waiting was actually a blessing- a HUGE blessing. The waiting had kept us from what no doubt would have been a terrible accident as that table would have hit my windshield. The waiting that I so hated and actually griped about out loud, was actually God's protection. And as I wait now in my life, I always think of this story because it reminds me that waiting isn’t always bad.

One of my favorite verses about waiting is Isaiah 30: 18 which says…

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! NIV
But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. The Message

What a change in perspective that verse gives me! The Lord waits not to punish me but because He desires to be gracious to us. How sweet is that? When we are anxious and wish He would just hurry the heck up, He always has a purpose and a reason behind the waiting. He is ALWAYS looking out for us and wants the absolute BEST for each of us. Sometimes waiting is God’s way of protecting us. Sometimes waiting is because it’s not the right time for God to answer our prayer. Sometimes it’s because something better is ahead. And I think often times it’s because God is using the waiting to change us- to draw us to Him so that we cling and grow closer to Him. It’s difficult in those times to not want immediate answers but if we remember that God is there with us in the waiting- shielding us, protecting us, loving us- that frustration can turn to joy when we trust in His goodness by remembering His faithfulness in situations and seasons past. Waiting is God’s opportunity to express His love and His great care for you. In the waiting, God is good and He IS present. Friend, God is working in your waiting.

My prayer today is that you are reminded that God's timing that is perfect- every single time. He has it all under control. That you are able to have hope and to wait expectantly for Him to answer in His time. I pray that you are able to be still, to have courage, and to trust in Him.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Scripture Bags: January Edition

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:

  • The Faith Scripture Writing plan. You can print out a copy HERE
  • A copy of the Counting the Fruit worksheet. You can print out a copy HERE
  • Exodus 14:14 print. You can print out a copy HERE
  • A coaster of Micah 5:5 I created a few years ago. 
  • A small devotional book. I found these at Hobby Lobby near the checkout area and they were only $2.49. You can find them HERE
  • A magnet with Mark 9:23 on it. These I found at Hobby Lobby near the cards. They had tons of verses and were only 99 cents each! You can find this one HERE
  • A printable that reminds they they are chosen, redeemed, adopted, brave, forgiven and beloved. You can print out a copy HERE


Total it cost me about $4 a bag. 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!

Hope in Christ Will Never Disappoint

If I saw you this morning and asked you how you were today and you were to answer honestly (not that fake "I'm fine" we usually say), what would you say? Beaten down? Facing a crisis? Exhausted? Afraid? Embarrassed? Terrified? Weary? If so know you are not alone.

As believers the life we live is never (this side of heaven) going to be easy. Christ tells us this point blank in the first part of John 16:33 which says….. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows." He doesn't say we "might" have troubles or we "may" have troubles. Nope- he flat out says...YOU WILL have troubles.

The good news is the end of that verse….."But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” He is our ultimate hope.

God is bigger than….
Your past.
Your mistakes.
Your problems.
Your failures.
Your anxiety.
Your depression.
Your pain.
Your hate.
Your anger.
Your doubt.
Your fear.
Your shame.
Your scars.
Your hurt.

Pain, struggle, suffering, crisis and trials do not have the last word. Christ does! Hope in Christ will NEVER disappoint.

My prayer for you today is that you are able, in the midst of any struggles or trials you face, remember that God is the authority over all things and He will carry you through your current situation. When you feel hedged in by doubt and fear, I pray that you are reminded to turn to Him because He WILL deliver you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Devotional Books I Adore

I often get messages asking me what my favorite devotional books are so I thought I would 
share all of my favorites for anyone who is looking for one to use to start their day.  
(And if you don't start your day with a devotion or some time just reading God's word, I highly recommend it. 
Focusing on the WORD before the WORLD makes a huge difference in my day 
and keeps me grounded and focused on what is truly important!)

I get to work super early and the first thing I do is my bible reading/scripture 
writing and then read a morning devotion or two. 
While some people use the same devotional book all year long, I am not that girl. 
Instead I rotate and alternate through several different devotional books
 each year - some year long devotionals and some topical. 

I also have most of these books in a physical copy AND a Kindle copy. 
Why? Because when I travel I don't want to carry them all around. 
(Hey...Did you know that once you buy a physical copy, 
you can purchase a Kindle copy super inexpensively? You can!)

Below are my current favorites including a link to each one and a little info about it: 

This book includes 365 useful, practical, encouraging and convicting devotions.
Paul is an honest, straightforward writer who constantly reminds us in these devotions 
that Jesus came to save us from ourselves and that we desperately need Him. 

This book includes 40 five word prayers to pray when you aren't sure what to pray. 
My copy is well used and so greatly loved!
It includes prayers like.....
"I need you desperately today" and "Please give me strength now".
Lisa is so authentic and genuine and I adore her writing so!
And if you aren't listening to her daily podcast, Jesus Over Everything, 
 YOU SHOULD BE!
(You should also be following Lisa on Instagram!)

This book includes 100 devotions full of godly perspective on the issues we face each day. 
Lysa's writing is real and honest and full of fabulous, relate-able stories. 

This book includes 100 devotions to remind us where God is in this mess 
of our lives and how He is always working for each of us.
Melanie is so genuine and I love her sense of humor. 
Reading this book makes me feel like I am sitting down and chatting with a girlfriend. 

This book includes 60 devotions all focused on finding grace in our everyday lives. 
Ann's writing style is beautiful and truly helps open the readers eyes to the blessings God has given us all around each day in the little and the big things- in the good times and the bad times. 

This book includes 100 devotions that focus on targeting and banishing lies and insecurities 
and focuses on reminding us of our identity in Christ. 
This topical devotion book is packed of godly wisdom and one I use as someone who often feels like I can be too much and not enough- sometimes on the same day. 
(And go follow Jess on Instagram, she is one of my favorites in Instagram stories!)



Thursday, January 3, 2019

Bible Reading Plans 2018

A fairly common resolution (that I think is FABULOUS)
 is the resolution to read through the Bible in a year. 

I can think of no better way than to spend time reading through God's word completely.

 I often get questions about plans that I recommend or suggest and there are tons out there. 
So below are a few of my suggestions- from an online plan, a plan generator,
 a podcast option and even a printable version I created. 


 has some fabulous plans online including: 

These plans are great because you can follow them on your phone 
or computer and you can do them alone or with friends. 
I'm actually working on one of these plans myself! 



(which I LOVE) has several plans as well including 
(allows you to read the Bible in the chronological order in which its stories and events occurred), 
(allows you to read the Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.)
(allows you to read the books of the Bible as they were written historically, 
according to the estimated date of their writing).

I love the Bible Gateway plans because they allow you to: 
  1. Have reminders sent directly to your email
  2. Record your reading progress
  3. Pause your plan any time to read at your own pace


also have some great options for reading plans including


Ligonier Ministries has a great list of printable plans HERE 
including some that are just five days a week and some that are chart form.

Bible Reading Plan Generator
This generator allows you to select all sorts of things including the days of the week you want to read, which order to read, and how long it will take you, and it will make a plan customized just for you!

Not a reader or struggle to understand what you have read?
Then this podcast is for you!
All you have to do is read the day's assigned reading then tune in to 
The Bible Recap each day after you've finished reading. 


I had a blog reader request a few years ago that I create a printable plan
so I've created a simple one that you can print out 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!}