What does the Bible say about Fear?

Do you struggle with fear? Anxiety? I know I do. So what does the Word of God say about fear?

Psalm 34:4

“I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”

Joshua 1:9

“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 6:24

“Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Psalm 23:4

“Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff – they comfort me.”

Romans 8:38-39

“For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rules, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

Psalm 94:19

“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.”

1 Peter 1:5

“You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Psalm 27:1

“The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom should I be afraid?”

1 Peter 5:6-7

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”

Psalm 56:3-4

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.”

Psalm 103:17-18

“But from eternity to eternity, the LORD’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:13

“For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.”

Romans 8:15

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ ”

1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear …”

***

Idols and Sin

sin-and-idols

Have we Christians become a society that is so enraptured with entertainment that we cannot even give up a movie for God?

Have we become a community that is so obsessed with freedom and fun that we think we can live any way we want and God accepts that?

Have we, like the Israelites of old, forgotten our God and set up worthless idols in His place?

My dear friends, if you love something so deeply – cling to it so fiercely – that you can’t give it up if God asks you to, then you love it above God. Which makes it an idol.

Anything can be an idol. And we all have idols from time to time. We’re human. We sin. Mess up. Make mistakes. Fail.

But we’re also children of the Most High God. Which means we need to acknowledge our idols, and allow God lay them to rest. We need to hate sin, and ask God to cleanse us of it.

“Idols” by Jessa Anderson

You may have seen one of my earlier posts, in which I share about my excitement for Disney’s remake of Beauty and the Beast. Well, it recently came out that Disney is putting their first explicitly gay character in this live-action fairy tale film. So I’m no longer going to see this movie (which, by the way, is really upsetting for me because I was so excited about this movie!), and want to warn others about its content, as well.

Friends, there may not be a kiss, and this character may not be the main character … but this movie is taking something that God says is sin and portraying it as “good”, “natural”, and “normal”. Not only is this confusing and detrimental to young children, it’s also desensitizing us.

And it is making light of sin. The Bible says it’s shameful to even mention what the wicked do in secret (Ephesians 5:12). So is it right to have it paraded before our eyes as funny and normal and perfectly okay?

Do movies mean so much to you that you just can’t give them up? Are you going to keep turning a blind eye, even as it gets worse and worse?

I don’t mean to come across as condemning. I’m no perfect example. I’ve had an extremely hard time giving up TV series/movies that I’ve loved because of a little bad content. Especially when they start out good. I’ve continued watching things when I’ve known, deep down, that I probably should just give it up. Sometimes it takes a long time for us to truly see what God is trying to bring to our attention – to feel the conviction He’s laying on our heart.

Psalm 139:23-24 says: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.

And that, my dear sisters and brothers, is what we need to do. We need to cry out to God, “Search me! Show me if there is anything offensive to You in my actions or thoughts!”

We need to stop making excuses. Stop running from the truth. Stop hiding from the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

We need to stop and realize that God is HOLY. And RIGHTEOUS. And JUST. And GOOD. And ALL-KNOWING. And He sees our hearts.

I don’t know why you’ve decided to watch Beauty and the Beast {2017}, if you have. I don’t know your heart. And I’m not here to condemn you. But I am here to urge you to ponder this. To seek God’s guidance. To open the Word of God and see what your Lord is trying to tell you.

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.” Hebrews 4:12-13

Because maybe He is trying to tell you something, but you’ve been too caught up in your idols to hear.

Believe me when I say this, I’ve been in that place. Time and  time again. And you know what, there IS pain when giving up these idols, this sin, whatever it is for you. But what comes after that? JOY. And PEACE. And HOPE. And this incredible sense of FREEDOM.

Because Jesus is worth it.

And sin is only hurting us. It’s often only after the fact that we realize that.

More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ – the righteousness from God based on faith.” Philippians 3:8

“Everything As Loss” by Tricia Brock

So maybe watching these movies/TV series with little clips of yuckiness in them is a weight that you need to cast off in order to run the race more effectively.

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2

I believe that’s the way it is for me and have been convicted to completely give up some TV series I’d been watching. So keep me accountable! I’m weary of flirting with sin and the ways of the world.

Sin is not to be taken lightly. Not your sin. Not their sin. Not “sin portrayed at something good” in the movies you watch.

Sin is a grievous thing that not only always hurts someone, but first and foremost, hurts the heart of our merciful and loving and holy Father.

If you’re a Christian, you’re a follower of Christ. You will fall sometimes, but He is faithful and will pick you up and dust you off. Then you need to make the decision to reach up and take His hand. And keep following Him.

Lady Grace ❤

Book Review for Girl Defined

91bc4c8001f8b3d3eb172c0c1d51af16

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird is a book I think every woman (teen+) can benefit from reading! For one, it’s very easy and enjoyable to read – I continually wanted to return to its pages. And it truly speaks to the heart! Girl Defined explores issues we as women are facing everyday, and gives Biblical advice, eye-opening truths, and encouraging/challenging stories.

It speaks to younger girls (around teen years) as well as married women, or even middle-age/older woman. There are stories about teens, young moms, 30-year-old singles, and older widows. I can’t wait to share this book with my younger sisters (14 and 16)! I loved it! Girl Defined speaks to WOMEN and calls for us to find our identity in Christ and embrace God’s plan for womanhood.

As with every Christian Living/Self-Help book I read, I didn’t agree with absolutely everything said in Girl Defined … word for word. Some things I thought, “Well, I wouldn’t exactly say it that way.”

But this book really hits the nail on the head when talking about Biblical womanhood. Sisters Kristen and Bethany have the Word of God, life experience, statistics, and well-known Christian speakers/writers (such as Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth, Dannah Gresh, and Mary A. Kassian) to back up what they’re teaching.

So many things clicked for me when reading this book. It just makes sense, what they’re saying. Even if it is TOTALLY against the cultural norm, totally against what the world tells us to do/be … when you read about femininity, beauty, and identity the way Kristen and Bethany see it, it makes sense when you think about how God designed us. Men and women were created to be equal, but different, for specific purposes. This book embraces that, and I LOVE it! Ladies, we are going to be so much happier and fulfilled if we embrace GOD’S DESIGN! If we embrace femininity. If we embrace womanhood and the “nurturing”, “helping”, and “life-giving” that comes with that role.

Girl Defined also talks about living purposefully, with eternity in mind, which is a message for ALL Christians, no matter where you are in life. It was both challenging and encouraging! Exciting, even! ^_^ Let’s live, my friends! Let’s live a life that we can look back on and not regret. A life of fulfillment. A life of honoring God.

I really liked how Kristen and Bethany quote authors like Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth in this book. They have such powerful things to say! One of my favorites from Mrs. Wolgemuth is: “Being created “for someone” indicates that God created the female to be a highly relational creature. In contrast to the male, her identity isn’t based on work nearly as much as on how well she connects and relates to others. Forming deep relational bonds is at the core of what it means to be a woman.” (pg. 91)

And from Mary A. Kassian: “A wimpy woman gives up on biblical femininity when life gets hard. A wimpy woman quits when she has to stand alone. A wimpy woman caves in when the culture pressures her.” (pg. 169)

They also share thoughts from some of the past top models in the industry, such as Kylie Bisutti. She say that models are some of the most insecure women she’s ever met! Have you ever thought about that? We simply cannot place our identity in our outward appearance, because we’ll never measure up.

Yes. Overall, I feel Girl Defined is full of Biblical truth and has the potential to make a big impact on women today. I want to share this book with all the women I know – young and old! It reminds us of our beautiful identity, purpose, and femininity. This is so much more freeing than what the culture is telling us! So priceless! I would strongly encourage you to read Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity, women! *smiles*

For the Sake of Love

I’ve met many a Christian person who is quite “religious”. They go to church every Sunday; perhaps on Friday as well. They pray at each meal. They give to the needy. They speak of God and the Bible with solemnity and reverence.

But something is missing. As I watch, these same individuals often treat people in their day-to-day lives badly. Sometimes, women are treated as less; possessions almost. In other instances, men are mocked. Children are viewed as burdens and nuisances. Unbelievers, as idiots. The authorities are scorned. Servers are ill-treated if they don’t give them what they want. People who’ve made some big mistakes or had a rough past are looked down upon. The girl in the scanty clothes, or even the Christian rap singer, condemned.

And these are Christian people acting like this to others. If I asked them, “Do you love God?”, I’m sure they would respond, “Of course!”

But there is another question. Do you obey His commands? It says in John 14:15: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

And that is more than going to church and praying before a meal. John 13:34-35 says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Galatians 5:14 solidifies it with these powerful words: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Romans 13:8-10

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

So if you are continually hurting those in your life (because of bitterness, insecurity, pride, fear, past wounds, selfishness, etc.), you are willfully living a lifestyle of disobeying God’s commands.
 
Do you love God? Do you even really know Him?

God is love.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” {1 John 4:8}
He is love, my friends. Do you think you can go about life being harsh, condemning, tearing down, bitter, grumbling, quick to lash out at others … yet somehow claim to follow the Author of love?

Don’t you see? All that religiousness, all those rules, “good deeds”, eloquent talks about God – they mean nothing without love.

1 Corinthians 13 says: 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I AM ONLY A RESOUNDING GONG OR CLANGING CYMBAL.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I AM NOTHING.

3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I GAIN NOTHING.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I have read this passage a hundred times. I even memorized it. But I think only recently did its meaning really sink in.

We are nothing without love.

Religion. Good work. Knowledge. Ability. Generosity. Fine words. They mean nothing without love.
You can be an upstanding citizen. A respected church member. An admired worker.
But if you are going through life always treating your spouse, your children, your parents, siblings, neighbors, friends, in-laws, your fellow man, poorly, you’ve utterly missed the point. All your “righteousness” means nothing.All those people you’re hurting, they are God’s creations. They’re God’s children. What right have you to claim to follow God and then abuse your fellow man?God is love.Can’t you see? It’s all about love! It’s all because of love. Love is the most important. God loved us, and that is how we are offered redemption. Everything we do should be because of love.

Discipline your children because you love them; you care about their lives and for their eternal souls.

Dress and behave modestly because you love your brothers in Christ; because you love your future husband enough to save all for him; because you know God loves you and you should love yourself enough to protect your body and purity.

Go and talk to a friend who has fallen into sin because you love them; you care about their relationship with God.

Do good things, strive for righteousness and godliness because you love God! Because He loved you first and you want to follow Him, to be like Him, to please Him.

I write this blog post because of love. Because I know people who are trying to make things work without much love, and I love them. I fear for them. I sorrow over them because I know they’re not who God made them to be, and surely their hearts are a bit sick.
I write this post because I love those who are being hurt by the unloving-ness of some people in their lives.
I write this post because I love God and His truth.

I write this post because my heart aches because of all the hurting in this world.

Darkness has crept into the Church. In a broken world where we are supposed to be shining a brilliant light, we are often only adding to the already intense pain.

What a wretched people are we!

But praise be to God! He can change a sinner from the inside out! He can heal a shattered heart. He can give us incredible strength to stand up and love selflessly. HE IS ABLE. Darkness has not won. Turn back to the Light!

Love is real. Love is powerful. Love is the greatest.

To those who have not yet chosen love, I will never stop praying for you. You might think you’re at the top, angry with the world, clinging to your pride, your fear, your bitterness and hurt; but I believe, I know, that God can change your heart.
To those with pain and scars from people like mentioned above, I will never stop praying for healing. You can be different. You can choose love. And relationships can be healed and restored by the power of our mighty God.
It’s time to let love win.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”


(All pictures found on Pixabay.com)

**Originally published on Between the Pages of this Bookish Life April 23rd, 2016**

Isolation or Worship?

isolation-or-worship

There are difficulties in this life. We struggle. Some days are harder than others. We each deal with things in our life that have the potential to drag us down.

  • Trying to live up to the word’s standard of beauty.
  • Thinking you’re only as valuable as you are beautiful.
  • Living with the unmet desire to be married.
  • Living with the unmet desire to be a mother.
  • Facing anxiety, fear, and depression.
  • Battling temptations and shame.
  • Feeling worthless.
  • Feeling purposeless.

Those times when God feels so far away, and you feel so alone and downtrodden by the world … I understand. It can be hard.

So what does a woman do in those situations?

I’ve learned a valuable secret. It’s called …

Worship.

During a time when I was battling with intense anxiety and despair, I went outside and stood beside a lake. I opened my Bible to Psalm Eight and turned my gaze heavenward, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth…”

I read that whole Psalm aloud. And this curious feeling came – the quieting of my soul; the stilling of my troubled thoughts. I think the Enemy’s voice was drowned out by my worship of the Most High God.

Another thing I did was pray. One night, when my heart was seizing up within my chest and all my fear suddenly looming over me; I prayed out loud. About my terror of the moment – and anything and everything – for over an hour. I just kept praying and praying, because I felt secure in that. The darkness seemed to recede. The peace of God (it could have only come from Him!) descended on me. I prayed myself to sleep.

Hebrews 4:16

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. The power of Jesus’ name. The power of His Word.

Those are your weapons with which to fight in this battle. Oh, my friends, it truly helped me. I can’t explain to you the peace I felt in those moments.

Here’s another tip …

Community.

So often, in our struggles, we isolate ourselves. I’m here to tell you, DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF! Now is the time to open up, my dear. Open up to God. Open up to family. To friends.

I was away from home at that time, but I sobbed over the phone to my mom, and her voice – her presence over the phone – was like a lifeline.

My friends, you wouldn’t believe how freeing it is to share your burdens. To let people speak truth over you and pray for you.

We need each other. To isolate yourself in your struggles is the worst thing you could do.

So find someone to talk to. A trusted family member or friend. And if you don’t have anyone, please contact me. Let me pray for you and be there for you in what ways I can.

Most importantly, you’ve got to let yourself open up to God. Go to Him. Pour out your heart. Surrender to Him. Trust Him.

So open up to people. And open up to God.

And then … worship.

I know every situation is different, and sometimes all you can do is lay there, curled up on the floor, and beg God to hold you. And He will. I truly believe He will, and does.

But worship is healing. Worship fights a battle for you. Worship draws you closer to God.

Romans 12:12

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Galatians 5:22

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…”

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Choose worship. In down times, in dark times, choose to worship. Opening up the Word of God and pouring out praises to your Creator, the Creator, is a powerful thing.

The Enemy can’t stand in the way of that.

Run to your Heavenly Father, and cry out, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”

Don’t isolate yourself.

Have a prayer time.

Worship.

Heal & be at Peace

Psalm 103:1-6 & 11-18

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

Dear Future Husband …

dear-future-husband

Dear Future Husband,

I want to apologize. To say sorry for making it all about me. Perhaps it’s a girl thing—to think when there is a young man who catches our notice: Maybe he’s the one. Could he be my prince charming? –Come to rescue me. Fulfill me. Make me happy. Call me beautiful. Make me secure. Complete me.

Me. Me. Me. I’m sorry. We shouldn’t always do that. I shouldn’t do that. When we see you, we should see a child of God. A young man treasured by the Creator. A temple of the Holy Spirit. A brother. Possibly a friend. Who knows—perhaps more in time? But right now, we should just see you. Not someone who could potentially fulfill all our “happily ever after” dreams, but a fellow human being who has struggles, hurts, and hopes, and needs encouragement and love, just like we do.

I’m sorry. The burden I oftentimes subconsciously plan on putting on you is ridiculous. There’s been hurt in my life, but I cannot put my hope in you to make it right. You can’t fulfill me. You can’t right my world. After all, you are only a man. A good man, I am sure, but a man, nonetheless. Not a god. In fact, because of your sins, God had to sacrifice His Son, Jesus Christ, to save you! The story is the same with me. So, as two imperfect, broken human beings, how could we possibly be able to fulfill the other?

I need to stop having this unhealthy expectation of you, and start putting all my hope in the Lord. Because if I went into marriage like that, it would cause intense unmet expectations and pain and strife. But if we come together, both keeping God as our first love, and placing Him in the center of our relationship, then perhaps it could be something immensely beautiful.

It isn’t all about me. It’s about you. And most of all, it’s about God, and honoring Him in everything we do! Dear future husband, if God plans to bring you along sometime, I want our friendship to encourage and bring joy to the both of us. I want our love story to be beautiful, for me and for you—like God designed the love between a man and a woman to be. I want our marriage to radiantly glorify Him. He is worthy! And His path is very good.

So, I want to do better. For Him. For you. For me.

Faithfully Yours

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Psalm 62:5-8

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

*** Note: Originally published on Between the Pages of this Bookish Life, June 24th, 2016.

Heaven.

heaven

You know what? The unknown frightens me. Eternity frightens me. I can’t fully understand the concept of “heaven”, and so it scares me.

But it shouldn’t be that way.

I’m a child of God. I’m a daughter of the King of Kings. My soul is saved, thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, and it is marked as His.

Heaven is my home. Eternity is a promise to me.

I don’t know about you, but I hear dark lies whispering to my soul. Trying to steal the joy of my salvation. Trying to turn a beautiful promise into something that makes me fearful.

Remember how to fight the Enemy? We fight him with the Word of God! So I looked up these verses about heaven, to remind myself that my God cares for me. And He knows me. And His thoughts are way, way higher than mine.

Proverbs 14:32

32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
    but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
    he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.

In that day they will say,

“Surely this is our God;
    we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
    let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

 

1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 5:1-5

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 Corinthians 2:6-9

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

2 Peter 3:8-9

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

John 14:2-4

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Revelation 21:4-7

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Colossians 3:3-4

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Revelation 7:17

17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Revelation 22:1-5

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Philippians 1:21-23

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Philippians 3:20-21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Longing to be a Wife and Mother

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This isn’t going to be a post where I give you tips on how to make the wait easier; or how to stop desiring marriage; or why you shouldn’t yearn for these things.

This is a post where I identify with you, fellow longing heart; and share my own thoughts and feelings.

Because this is about much more than first kisses and wedding dresses.

These feelings  of longing are rooted deep. And they’re hard. The wait is hard. Longing to be a wife and mother is not a trivial thing. In a lot of us women, there’s something deep down that naturally awaits being a homemaker. As women, the intense longing to be married, the deep desire to snuggle our own babies, is something that’s instilled in us by default.

It’s not silly. It’s not selfish.

It’s the way we are designed.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a wife and a mommy. When I was just a baby myself, I would tenderly care for my baby-dolls. Growing up, I was delighted every time there was a new baby in the house. As I entered my teenage years, I started dreaming about what it would be like to meet the right man and get married. I’m a hopeless romantic, crying at every proposal I watched (from movies and Youtube videos) or read, and sighing blissfully at every wedding. When I turned eighteen, it suddenly shifted from dreaming, to longing. I was an adult. My friends and cousins were dating, getting married, having children. All at once, it was real. I could get married – I was of age now. But nothing happened. I never even so much as went on a first date.

In truth, I haven’t been waiting very long. But it startles me how acute the unfulfilled longing is sometimes. In a room filled with relatives, from sweet grandparents who’ve been married many years, to newly weds exchanging happy looks; from lovely moms of many children exclaiming how time flies, to new mothers cuddling their first little one; and everyone in between – they’re all connected and belonging and caught up in this beautiful cycle of life. And I’m off to the side, unsure where I fit in. Wondering when it will be my turn. When I can be part of this warm family-ness in front of me.

I want to be married. I hope for a man who can be my partner in life – a friend. I long to carry a baby close to my heart. I wish I could present my mom and dad with grandchildren.

Why, Lord? Why have I never been asked out? Never been noticed? Never been pursued? Am I not worth it? Not pretty enough? Not godly enough? Not what men are looking for in a wife?

Why me? I know of young women just like myself, with our deepest desire to be a wife and mother; and yet we are the ones waiting. It seems like the women who are out pursuing other careers and who hardly put much thought into marriage, are the ones getting married.

And we – who read books on godly marriage, study what makes a healthy relationship, pray for our future husband, know how to cook and bake and keep house and care for children – we, who all we want is to be a good, old-fashioned woman, to pursue wifehood and motherhood the way You designed, are left alone and grappling with this intense desire we can’t seem to get rid of.

Can’t You tell me what Your plan is here, Lord?

But He doesn’t. And I’ve struggled and struggled over this. However, I thought of something last night. Even if the longing is unfulfilled – even in the desire is unmet all my life, there is eternity. And when I enter into eternity, and meet my Lord face to face, it says He will wipe away my every tear.

Revelation 21:4

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

I think that means tears over singleness. Tears over an empty womb. Tears over no grandchildren. Tears over not feeling like part of life’s beautiful cycle of family.

Those tears will be wiped away, too. And pain we feel over these things will be gone. And we will be part of a beautiful family in heaven. God’s family. The ultimate family. And, oh, how joyous and fulfilling it will be.

I don’t know, I suppose it just comforts me to know that God will wipe away those tears. It’s not something we have to bear forever. So even if I don’t get married, or even if I get married but don’t have babies, or even if I get both those things, but have some other unmet longing or painful loss – God will take away those burdens. Perhaps not today. But someday, we know He will.

One last thought.

Don’t be an empty shell of what God created you to be.

Don’t be listless. Don’t live forever melancholy. Be zealous. Be passionate. Hold onto hope. Dream for the future. Pray about your desires and pray for God’s will. It’s not wrong to hope, still, for marriage and children. Just don’t let it overcome you so that every day your longing isn’t met, you’re crushed.

So dream. God created us to dream. We’re most alive when we dream.

And every day, love people. Love who God has put in your life. Love the people around you. God has given you a purpose. Right now. Here. Today.

Love.

Films I’m Excited For

Time to share some movies I’m looking forward to watching! Without further ado, let’s get on to the list.

Beauty and the Beast {2017}

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After making the stunningly beautiful, Cinderella {2015}, Disney now brings us a live-action of Beauty & the Beast March 17th, 2017! I can’t even express how thrilled I am! Did you see the official trailer? It’s chill-inducing, breathtaking gorgeousness! ^_^

Official trailer linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvW_L8sTu5E

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When Calls the Heart: Season Four: Christmas Special {2016}

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The 2-hour Christmas special for season four! I enjoyed the first three seasons of When Calls the Heart, and look forward to seeing more of Jack, Elizabeth, and the rest of the characters.

Official trailer linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnoUfEfUTZ0

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Finding Father Christmas {2016}

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Hallmark Channel brings to us Finding Father Christmas {2016}, a Christmas movie based on a novel by Christian author, Robin Jones Gunn! I love many of Robin’s books, so it was exciting to hear that one of them was being made into a movie.

Official trailer linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDEzFsM7SFA

 

A December Bride {2016}

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Another new Christmas movie from Hallmark channel! This one is based of Christian author, Denise Hunter’s novella! I actually haven’t read by Denise Hunter, but I’ve heard about her books.

Official trailer linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJAuoVTnkUU

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Ballerina {2016}

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This looks amazing. Dance. Passion. Adventure. Dreams. Sometimes I simply love animated movies … *smiles* I love anything with dance, really!

Official trailer linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQBkvddF32I

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So what do you think? Are you looking forward to any of these movies? What coming releases are you looking forward to?

 

Consolation for the Downtrodden Heart

Dear lovely readers,

I’ve come across some verses in the book of Psalm that I want to share with you. I have long struggled with anxiety, fear, and feeling utterly alone. These are some of the verses that speak truth to me in my situation – and lift up my soul.

(Click on the chapter numbers to read the full chapters.)

Psalm 42:5-6

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 40:5

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

Psalm 37:7

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Psalm 34:4-5

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 20:1-2

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;

Psalm 16:11

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 5:11-12

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Psalm 5:1-3

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

Psalm 3:3-4

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

So put your hope in God, my friends. Praise Him. Wait for Him. Declare His words. Rest in Him. Seek Him. Look to Him and be radiant! Do not fear; do not fret. Be strengthened by Him. Rejoice in Him! Pray to Him; look up. He will hear you. He is your shield.