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.