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 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!}

My word of the year 2019: Yield

I spend lots of time leading up to the new year thinking about and praying about my word and verse for the new year. I'm not one to make resolutions (although I do make lists of goals!) but love choosing a word to study, focus on, and embrace.

This year my word is YIELD and my verse is John 15:5. I want a heart that lives out this verse whole-heartedly.....”I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

YIELD. I love this word because it’s a word that means both give and return. I want to surrender and receive. I want a heart yielded to His desires and His plans (NOT my own because His are far greater than any I could ever dream or imagine) so that my life and testimony yields and shows His incredible faithfulness and love to everyone God places in my life.

So what does living yielded mean? In order for me to live yielded I believe I must fully surrender and completely submit to the Lord (everything- my plans and dreams and hopes) so that I can yield (bear, produce, display) fruit according to His will for my life. And to be totally honest that’s a little scary for me because I am a girl who likes for things to go according to plan- always. (Whose plan? MINE of course!). But this year I strive to have a yielded heart.

-A heart willing to say “YES Lord” to God’s plans, no matter the cost
-A heart that embraces the fact that I am not the one in control and to rest in the fact that He has an eternal perspective while I have an earthly one
-A heart willing to do whatever He says and be obedient, no matter how crazy or impossible it seems
-A heart yielded to His plans above my own reason or what others think or say
-A heart that is yielded to God’s changes in my life instead of scared of them (kick fear to the curb)
-A heart that is yielded to Him alone for approval and doesn’t focus on what others think
-A heart that is yielded to God’s care and love for those in my life instead of clutching them tightly and spending time fearing losing them
-A heart that is yielded to Him and the fact that He is good, even when circumstances clearly are NOT

I so desire a WILLING, yielded heart! I long to know the fullness of life in Christ, the fullness of His joy, and the fullness of His power and in order to do so I must surrender fully unto Him. I must yield.

”When a person, yielding to God and believing the truth of God, is filled with the Spirit of God, even the faintest whisper will be worship.”- AW Tozer

Do you pick a new word of the year? If so, share below, I'd love to hear what it is and be praying that word over you!