Book Review: Grown-Up Faith by Kevin Myers

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Grown-Up Faith: The Big Picture for a Bigger Life by Kevin Myers (with Charlie Wetzel)

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars

This was a super fabulous read! Grown-Up Faith: The Big Picture for a Bigger Life by Kevin Myers is one of those books that I feel like giving out to everyone. It talks about the basics of Christianity and the Bible, faith, and going deeper with God. All in all, I just feel like it’s a great read for Christ-followers, and also those who are young in the faith, struggling, or unsure if they believe at all. So yes, I very much recommend this book!

Spiritual maturity comes not from merely knowing about God, but rather from experiencing God with an intimacy that has emotion and affection. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 18)

Mature followers of Christ seek to be holy as He is holy. That require obedience to Him. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 20)

Grown-Up Faith is engaging, clear, and informative. Overall, an easy read … even though I took a little longer to finish it. I really enjoyed it. There were discussions that I’m already familiar with, and profound thoughts that deepened my understanding.

This is not merely a punishment; it’s a principle. When we disobey God’s life principles, the consequence is death. Why? Because by doing so, we disconnect ourselves from the source of life. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 53)

Everyone grows old, but not everyone grows up. Those who don’t grow up get stuck blaming others. They get stuck being a victim. Or worse, they become blind to their chosen victimhood … (Grown-Up Faith pg. 58)

Kevin Myers talks about reading and understanding the Bible correctly. It is one big story that points to Jesus Christ! He quotes a few great Christian authors and speakers. He talks about some of the tough questions that people ask about God, and shares thought-provoking scenarios to help bring understanding. He discusses our real purpose as Christians. He shares poignant and humorous stories and snippets from his own life. It was all very interesting, and I left this book feeling more passionate about living for God! Knowing Him and doing all for His glory is what I’m made for.

It’s less about being reformed and more about being transformed. This needs to occur from the inside out. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 175)

By obeying God, we become more like Christ and less like everyone else in the world. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 190)

If you are a Christian, this is a great book for you to read. If you are not a Christian, this is also a great book for you to read! I’m so glad I picked up Grown-Up Faith and am excited it’s now part of my Christian Living book collection.

I received a complimentary copy of Grown-Up Faith through BookLookBloggers program. This review is honest and all my own.

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Book Review: Freedom by Jennifer Renee Watson

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Freedom! : The Gutsy Pursuit of Breakthrough and the Life Beyond It by Jennifer Renee Watson

My Personal Review ~ 3.75 stars

I picked up Freedom!: The Gutsy Pursuit of Breakthrough and the Life Beyond It by Jennifer Renee Watson because I’m tired of me telling myself that I’m broken and I can’t move beyond it. (And, to be honest, the cover is quite gorgeous!) I enjoyed it, and, overall, feel like it had a truly great message!

God is not the voice in your head shaming you, saying you are not enough. God is telling you that He is enough. That He is the great I AM. Who He is inside of you is more than enough to take care of whatever you are facing today or what you will face in the future. Jesus is not tired of you. Jesus is waiting and unafraid of your questions. (Freedom! pg. 66)

For real, a lot of us Christians … perhaps especially women … willingly live in brokenness. We take on the victim mentality and try to survive each day and do the right thing and please all the people. Freedom! is here to tell you that it’s time to pursue freedom! In Christ, we can move into deeper freedom than we ever thought possible. We can stop listening to that negative, nagging, dark voice in our head that tells us we’ll never be good enough. This book hit on some important topics and gave me another boost in my journey of freedom & wholeness in Christ.

A couple things. For some reason or another, this book wasn’t as easy of a read as some. Some chapters took me awhile to get through. Also, there was just a bit of that You Deserve It!You’re a Strong, Kick-Butt Heroine stuff mixed into the message. And that tends to rub me a little wrong. But it wasn’t overpowering, because the biggest thing I got from this book was that I don’t have to stay broken, and Jesus Christ is my everything – He will help me break through.

Your safe person is always Jesus. He alone can mend and do what no person or soul sister can do. (Freedom! pg. 96)

Your grateful soul was what motivated you to service. You were too busy pleasing God to concern yourself with pleasing others. (Freedom! pg. 151)

So, Freedom! wasn’t a five-star read for me. But it still had some really, really good points in it. Paragraphs and prayers that brought just a little more healing to my heart. God is so good. Thank you, Jennifer Renee Watson, for writing this book. I look forward to growing in freedom and grace together, even though we may never meet. God bless you!

I received a complimentary copy of Freedom! from Bethany House Publishers. This review is honest and completely my own.

 

**Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life on March 17th, 2019**

Politics, the Medical World, and More

Hello, dear readers. I recently watched a Youtube video that inspired me. It inspired me to get real. So, just briefly, I want to talk about those touchy topics that some of us like to avoid – politics, the medical world, and more.

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President Donald Trump

Building a Wall

Voting

War

Illegal Immigrants

Racism

White Privilege

Sexism

Toxic Masculinity

Feminism

#MeToo

Rape Culture

LGBT Community

Hate Speech

Socialism

Police Brutality

Pay Gap

Gun Control

Abortion

Birth Control

Vaccines

Antibiotics

New Age

Harry Potter and Witchcraft

What do you think about all these subjects?

The world can be a confusing place. We have passionate, vehement opinions being thrown at us from every direction. The media shows us terrifying or horrifying stories that make us inclined to believe this or that.

But, before you make up your mind on something, I want to encourage you to stop. Stop and research. Stop and think.

As Christians we are called to be in the world, but not of it.

John 17:14-18

14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

So yes, I believe we should have an opinion about the world, our culture, and the practices around us. We should be involved in politics and social issues. But no, we should not look like the majority of the people around us.

If you are following all the ideas and movements that the secular world is, I would plead with you to stop and examine your life and your beliefs.

You should not look like the world.

Don’t blindly follow or agree with something because it sounds good and that’s what the rest of the people are rallying behind.

That is being ignorant, passive, selfish, and careless.

And I don’t think any of those four adjectives should describe a Christ-follower, at least in a general sense.

Acts 5:29

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

We should be wise. Knowledgeable. Strong. Set-apart. Loving. Caring. Informed. Compassionate. Vigilant. Steadfast. Faithful. Truth-seeking. Passionate. Bold. Hopeful. Selfless. Hardworking. Courageous. Different. Godly. Biblical.

Matthew 10:16

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Stop buying into everything the media says and the culture tells you, and start digging into God’s Word. And I don’t mean surface-level digging … “Oh, Jesus ate bread, so gluten-free stuff is just a bunch of nonsense.” Whether or not the gluten-free lifestyle is a bunch of nonsense (I’m gf because of allergies, so I’m not saying it is!), that is just a very lazy way to approach things.

I mean dig deep. Study the Word. Study God’s character. Study science and biology. How did God create your body to work? What does God say about caring for our bodies? Study the food you eat, the shots you get, the products you use and figure out what exactly you’re putting into your body. Study history, politics, and economics. What logically makes sense if we look at the patterns and rise and fall of nations? What does God say about government, justice, and our part in it?

We need to stop thinking that our lives are just peachy and start learning about the world we live in instead escaping into other worlds by binge-watching TV shows.

This is not a game.

As Christians, we are called to live with purpose. Live intentionally. Take action. Make a difference. Love fearlessly. Fight for righteousness, justice, and truth.

We should not sit back and let wicked men dictate what our society looks like … Even going along with it because, oh, it sounds pleasant, peaceful, and safe. It sounds right and good.

What if you found out that some of the movements you’re supporting were really destroying people instead of helping them like you thought?

  • Abortion is about fighting for women’s rights!

But millions of babies are being ruthlessly slaughtered in the process. What about their rights? They are humans and this is murder.

  • We need to love everyone! Support gay pride and the LGBT community!

But such lifestyles are actually harmful and destructive – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – to the individual. There are studies showing that people who get transgender surgeries feel even more empty, depressed, and desperate than before – oftentimes committing suicide. How is it loving to push them – especially children! – into this? While God loves these people, their sin is bringing His just wrath. It is unloving of you to support their lifestyle.

  • Police brutality! We have too many bad policemen!

But don’t you understand how many good policemen we have? And how they put their lives on the line daily for your protection and comfort; they’re the first one you go to when in an emergency; they see horrible things you’d never want to see, etc. … and that your careless slander may encourage criminals to carelessly take policemen’s lives? Do you know how many police are murdered, and that they might actually need your support and prayers for protection??

  • #MeToo! Always believe the woman!

But do you know that sometimes the man is innocent (shocking, right??), and his reputation, career, and life is sent into upheaval because we want to cater to vicious and vindictive women?

  • People who are anti-vaccine are murders! They care nothing for their children! They are pure evil!

But have you ever talked to these people personally? Have you studied vaccines, health, the medical world, and our bodies in depth like they have? Do you know that some of the vaccine industries support abortion in the most awful of ways by putting pieces of aborted babies in their vaccines? (Can you be radically, truly pro-life and also pro-vaccine? Something that I think we, as Christians, need to seriously ponder.) Do you know about the anti-vaccine people’s concerns that vaccines are actually dangerous for their children, whom they love fiercely and want to be healthy and protected?

We need to wake up. Know what’s really going on in our community, country, and world. We need to be a bright, healing light by the way we’re involved in politics and social issues.

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

So I would encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this video, and check out the other Youtube channels I mention below.

I’m not saying that Republican equals Christian. I’m not saying patriot before Christ-follower. I’m not saying my views are all for sure right. I’m not saying that these Youtube channels are spot-on and have everything together. But they give you something to think about. Something counter-cultural. Something radical. Something intriguing and honest and raw and real and hopeful. Something against the norm.

(Just for your information, not all of these channels are Christian (but probably the majority of them come from self-proclaimed Christians), some of them do contain some language, and I have certainly not watched all the videos! So I’m not saying that I agree with everything presented in these channels. But they’re a way to do some research beyond what the media is telling us!)

Faith and Politics (Christianity and Politics)

***

Answers in Genesis

The Bible Project

Tipping Point With Liz Wheeler on OAN

The Patriot Nurse

PragerU

The Daily Wire

Brandon Tatum

Brittany Pettibone

Dr. Dale Brown

Genesis Apologetics

Zach Hing

Candace Owens

Hoover Institution

Patricia Dickson

Dr. Josh Axe

Students For Life

***

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

Open Your Hands

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We all have desires, right? Hopes and dreams for our life. We make plans. We work toward something we want. We pursue a certain job or establish a certain ministry. We form relationships. We pray for good things we feel that God might want as a part of our life.

I believe that God gives us desires, passions, and goals. I believe He fashions into our souls the drive to pursue things such as:

  • a job that we love & are good at
  • a ministry that we have a gift for & are energized through
  • a godly marriage
  • a healthy family
  • a friend group that spurs us on toward Christ
  • etc.

Maybe, this year of 2019, you feel it’s time.

Time to …

find that godly spouse to partner with

move out of your parent’s house

become intimately part of a godly church

get that great, fulfilling job

have a baby

pursue your passion by starting college

start that small group for women

move overseas & begin your work as a missionary

publish a book

adopt a child

propose or be proposed to 😉

find physical healing

make a best friend

move to a different state where you feel there is more potential for growth

Whatever it might be. Maybe you’re ready for it. You feel 2019 is the year. And, my dear friend, maybe this is the year for your breakthrough. And that is exciting! Praise the Lord!

But I want to encourage you to keep perspective. Recently, I wrote a post called To Live is Christ. And that is the perspective we must always keep, whether we are pursuing a passion, moving out, getting married, starting a ministry, or getting a new job.

Our Lord says to seek first the kingdom of God …

Matthew 6:33

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

…and even if you feel this desire of yours is part of seeking God’s kingdom (and it may very well be!) remember that our King can see the whole picture, while you can’t. And His plans will prevail. And it is good! You can trust Him.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Psalm 37:23

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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 119:105

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Proverbs 16:1-3

The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.

Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

So open your hands, sweet soul.

Hold life with open hands.

So if God plans to give you what you are desiring and pursuing, you will be ready to receive it with the right heart of humility and joy.

So if God turns your plans upside down, your open hands will be able to receive the grace & strength you need to seek His face and rest in His peace.

Open your hands, so He can give you blessings that you never thought to ask for. Maybe blessings you never imagined you’d want.

So He can take things from your life that are actually not good for you (even if you thought they were, at first!)

Hold life with open hands so that you may flee from idols.

1 John 5:21

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Marriage, a job, a ministry, college, a friend group, a new place, etc., these can all become idols if we grip them with desperate hands.

There weren’t meant to be idols. They were meant to be gifts! But we so easily forget God and try to heft other things into His place. And this is painful.

Our lives are for God’s glory! Not ours. We are to love Him with our soul – our whole being.

When we grip something, with desperate hands, we are keeping that aspect of our life from Him. We are not trusting Him with it. We are creating distance between us and God. Straining our relationship, and elevating a gift above the Giver.

We have become idolatrous.

And believe me, dear friend, having idols is painful. It hurts because it is not what we are designed for. It is not God’s good design – it is not how things are supposed to work. Having idols causes invalid and irrational anxiety, fear, suspicion, and anger. It turns our heart against God.

We need our heart’s desire to draw us to God, not away from Him. To draw us to glorify Him, not fill our heart with suspicion that He is not good.

And perhaps it’s not your desire that is the problem, but your heart.

Me desiring a husband and children is not a problem. But if this desire turns in bitterness, passivity, and resentment because I don’t have it, then my heart has wandered from God and His goodness, and strayed down Satan’s dark path.

A woman having a husband and children is not a problem. But if she clings to them so tightly that she is riddled with anxiety & fear, and is filled with suspicion toward God … What if He takes one of them from me? then she has moved out of God’s perfect love and given into Satan’s age-old tactic.

I struggle with anxiety. Probably both of the medical variety, and just a form that is practiced and becomes part of life if one doesn’t reject it.

I’ve often worried, through the years of my life, that if I were in a relationship I’d be anxious … what if this isn’t God’s desired path for me?

If I were engaged and planning a wedding … what if God takes this away from me, for some reason, right when I almost have it?

Married with children … what if one of them dies? How could I bear it?

This anxiety … this doubt … this fear … this questioning of God’s goodness … this sin … this idolatry … It has lessened as I’ve experienced God’s goodness and learned that I can and should abide in Christ. It’s still something that I struggle with. That aspect of my humanity that I wrestle through. That “old man” that I fight.

It is hard, my friends, I know! Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just press into God. Repent. Surrender. Ask Him to reveal, more deeply, His infinite love and grace to you, that you may not live with a legalistic, fearful heart, but a joyful, peace-filled, trusting, knowing one.

I have had some thoughts that have helped me. They go something like this:

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If the opportunity to enter a romantic relationship comes my way, I will pray about it and get godly counsel from spiritual mentors … and I will entrust it into God’s hands. I will hold it lightly and pay attention to the words of the wise, the opinions of my family, and the peace – or lack of it – that I feel inside. God has shown me that He is at work in the details of my life before, so I know He will be directing my every step in this also. I won’t refuse to feel pain. If this is of Him, hallelujah! If it’s not, then He has better plans in store.

***

If God is so gracious to me as to bless me with a husband and children, I will strive to hold each of them … precious gifts that they are … with open hands. Because they belong to God before they are ever mine. I don’t get to call the shots. But rather, live in daily thankfulness and entrust them, and myself, into my Father’s loving and powerful Hands.

***

I think if you try this method of trust, humble surrender, and gratefulness, you will find it much preferable to your method of white-knuckled, anxiety-ridden, painful, peace-less, fake control.

Because, sweet friend, you are not in control. And you pretending that you are is not helping anything. In fact, it’s destroying your peace and your ability to live life more abundantly.

It’s Satan’s attempt to steal from you what the Almighty God has give you.

John 10:10

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

This post is not to say to just expect not to receive what you desire from the Father, but to rest in His peace through the process!

Let go.

Open your hands.

Rejoice in your loving Father above. ❤

Psalm 31:3, 14-15, 19-22 & 24

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion

21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
22 For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

Hollyn – ISAAC

Aaron Cole (feat. Tobymac) – RIGHT ON TIME

Book Review: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

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One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

Truly a worthwhile read! This book surprised me and moved me. I am in love with Ann Voskamp’s writing style … it is poetic, deep, and rich. It reaches in and takes a hold of me at a soul-deep level. Oh, it was beautiful – pulling at deep, deep parts of me. Making me strive to understand, and also feel like maybe I could just let go and rest in God’s goodness and love.

Could it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God? ~ Ann Voskamp

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are is bittersweet, and triumphant, and marvelously revealing. My heart wept for the tragedy endured, yet exulted for the glory, and freedom, and love discovered! Ann Voskamp is very honest and vulnerable, sharing openly from her heart. I get a glimpse into this life of a farmer’s wife and a mother of six. This woman who has faced raw heartbreak and hardship, and struggles against anxiety and listlessness.

In the messy, Jesus whispers, “What do you want?” and in the ugly, I cry, “I want to see – see You in these faces.” He speaks soft, “Seek My face.” ~ Ann Voskamp

I loved reading about the day-to-day experiences and getting a look at Ann’s relationship with God as she cries out, grows, wrestles, surrenders, and rests in the security of Christ. I loved the triumph, the bittersweet, the struggle, the hope, and the glorious beauty.

When I choose – and it is a choice – to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? ~ Ann Voskamp

This is a thought-provoking book that changed me. And I pray that I live in this change. I am so thankful to my God, and to Ann Voskamp for sharing her testimony.

What a book. I just really loved it and highly recommend. Such deep content. If you struggle with fear … depression … ingratitude … One-Thousand Gifts will challenge you and lift your heart.

I am a child in His arms and His breath falls warm upon my face and what I feel for this daughter He feels for me, and the gifts, all these gifts I keep counting, they are His love gifts and they’re slowly waking me up to the tenderest, fiercest Love of all. ~ Ann Voskamp

To Live is Christ

Good morning, beloved readers!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the freedom that Christ gives us, and wondering … are we stepping into that freedom? Taking hold of it? Living it? Do we believe in that freedom?

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At the conference that I recently went to, the theme was missions. Reaching the nations for Christ. Pouring out your life for the sake of the Gospel. Going boldly into dangerous situations in order to tell every soul. I heard radical stories and saw hearts passionate for Jesus Christ.

When this kind of radical living is on display, fear often sneaks up on unsuspecting persons such as myself.

That sounds terrifying.

Would I be able to bear such things?

What if I’m called to physically give my life?

So the question is, how do we fight this fear? And how to we get to the place where these Christian figures are? Seemingly fearless and excited to follow God wherever He would lead. No matter the cost.

1. You must have an encounter with Jesus Christ.

And I don’t mean some man-made encounter where you recite a prayer, go through confirmation, or obediently get baptized. I mean a personal encounter, where you truly believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, you glimpse His glory, you trust His love & sacrifice, and this transforms your life. You feel the Holy Spirit literally changing your heart.

Maybe this encounter comes in a moment for some people. For me, it was more like a process. An encounter over many moments, days, months, and even years.

A process where God pursued my heart, and kept drawing me back to seek Him.

And, slowly but surely, I’m changing from a very frightened, very insecure, very unsteady, very weak girl into an increasingly free woman.

A Christ-following woman who thinks:

If, someday, I am led to the flames to die because of Christ, I hope my heart will be saying to the Lover of my soul: “May this be a sweet-smelling sacrifice to You, O Lord.”

And this thought is peace-filled. Like somehow, into this frail heart of mine, the Holy Spirit is gently whispering that it would be an honor to die for my King. And that I would feel peace. And be glad to be a sacrifice for Him if I must be put to death by the wicked of this world. And that I would be inwardly rejoicing, so ready to see His face. So ready to be welcomed in His arms and into my home.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Psalm 116:15

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.

And I know, friends. To some of you, this sounds absolutely crazy. And it feels kind of crazy even as I’m writing it. And fear wants to rear his ugly head. I am, by no means, perfected. Sometimes I relapse back into my anxiety-stricken self. But, I promise you, this thought did press itself into my mind and on my heart … and it is becoming more firmly planted. This I know, God is working in and through me. And I hold onto that.

You must know Jesus Christ. You must have a real relationship with Him. You must believe His radical love for you. You must see His glory. Otherwise death, sacrifice, evangelism, yes, even the routine Christian life, is ridiculous.

1 Corinthians 15:14 & 17-19

14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Why do we do what we do as Christians? It is because of Jesus. For His glory and because of His love. There is no other reason than Christ Jesus. And if we don’t see Christ for who He truly is, then we are confused and weak creatures indeed.

So you must have a real encounter with the living Savior. Accept His sacrifice for sin. And invite Him in as lord of your life. And then …

2. You must allow Him to grow you.

You have to grow, my friends. Don’t quench the Holy Spirit. Don’t allow fear, anxiety, pride, depression, pain, insecurity, weakness, and your own selfish desires to have free reign in your life. Fight them. Allow the Spirit into your decisions, that He may strengthen you to do what is difficult, and even what seems impossible. Surrender.

In essence, it wasn’t you who invited Jesus into your life, but Jesus who invited you into His, drawing your heart to believe in Him. So live in Him.

Continuing on. You need to grow. And I believe this growth comes in four parts:

// Studying God’s Word // Prayer // Community within the Body // Suffering & trials //

Open your Bible everyday. Study it. Memorize it. Read it from cover to cover. Let it refresh your soul. It is like your sword, your weapon of defense. Read Scripture against the attacks of Satan. Don’t cower under his lies – HE IS DEFEATED. Don’t be defeated with him!

Ephesians 6:17

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Matthew 4:4

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ 

Pray. Pray continually. Invite the Lord into every moment and every aspect of your life. Wake up early to pray. Pray in the very midst of temptation and fear. Pray when you can’t sleep. Pray with friends. Ask people to pray over you. Commune with your good Father! Press into Him. Allow Him to be your hiding place.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

19 Do not quench the Spirit20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Become a part of the local Body of Christ. Get involved in a loving, tight-knit, Christ-like church. Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together. You need other believers, my dear friend! God gave you brothers and sisters in Him to help strengthen your faith, comfort your heart, and keep you in obedience. Don’t underestimate the power of doing life with other strong Christians who are passionate for Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Suffering and trials. As hard as it is, don’t despise these things, but ask God to open your eyes to how He might be at work. For example, if you’re suffering from lingering health issues or a chronic illness, don’t get consumed in doubt, despair, and desperate prayers for healing. Now, to clarify, I believe it is good to pray for healing from sickness. For yourself, and for the brotherhood. But also, pray for God to draw you into closer intimacy with Him during this painful process.

1 Peter 1:6-9

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christwhom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

James 5:13-16

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Perhaps He is trying to teach you something that you are stubbornly resisting. Or perhaps it’s just a general growing of perseverance and faith. Whatever the case, God knows you, your body, and the plans He has for your life. Trust Him.

3. You must seek Christ as your supreme treasure.

You desire Him. You long for His love. You want to see His face. You want to live for His glory.

I fully believe that as God grows you in Him, Christ will become your supreme treasure. And that is the key.

To be FEARLESS. JOYFUL. CONFIDENT. FREE.

If Christ is your all-in-all, then you know that nothing can take away your greatest treasure. Because it is Christ and no one can take Christ from you. No one can snatch you from your Father’s Hand. And your perspective shifts from the here-and-now to the eternal, because your beloved Jesus Christ is eternal.

Apostle Paul says in his letter to the church in Philippi that for him, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Like, living life and obeying Christ are one and the same. Living and glorifying Christ are synonymous for him. There is not one without the other.

Philippians 1:21

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

He does not hesitate because of discomfort or run away because of danger. He does all for the glory of God. Each decision he makes is made with glorifying God in mind.

To disobey. To be led by fear. To live for his own glory … that is not living at all.

Paul knows that to be spiritually dead is much, much worse than physical death. In fact, actually departing from this world is gain, because he gets to be with the Lover of his soul! Death means going home! Death means uniting with Love!

Revelation 22:3-5

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 foreheadsThere 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.

To live for anything less than for Christ is to not live at all.

Do you want to live?

Perhaps you don’t feel the magnitude of this concept, but it is mind-blowing for me. And so completely freeing! I can stop struggling, tripping, and being violently dragged here and there by the slave-master, Fear. And I can step into the freedom of simply living for the glory of Christ. To make every decision to His glory. To put His glory above all else and rest fully in His love.

And the best thing is, the Holy Spirit will enable me to do this!

Philippians 2:13

13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Acts 1:8

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Oh, hallelujah! Praise the Lord, o my soul!

Whether He call me to far-off nations and daily danger, to crowds of people listening to my little voice, or to a simple, quiet life of making disciples in my small, American community & living as an example in a self-consumed culture … I am free to live fearless and all for His glory.

I am free to hide myself in His love, knowing He is absolutely capable of caring for me.

Psalm 31:19-20 & 23-24

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

Dear readers, to live is Christ.

I pray that you will live in Him and for Him. I pray that I will live in Him and for Him. And may we band together and love & strengthen each other in this lifestyle!

❤ Lady Grace

Love Them – PRAYER

How is your prayer life, my friends? I must admit, mine isn’t as consistent and deep as I would like it to be. As I know it should be.

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My Sunday school leader reminded us just a couple days ago: You can’t have a good relationship without communication. You can’t have a good relationship with God without prayer. You need to be communicating with Him. Spending time with Him.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Communication and quality time make for a strong, healthy, intimate relationship.

I have been hearing a lot about prayer lately, from so many different sources. I’m reminded again and again how important and needful and powerful it is!

Matthew 7:7-11

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I’ve asked someone to keep me accountable in my prayer life. I want to be setting a time aside to pray every day … whether it means getting up extra early, or going into my room in the evening, putting in earplugs, and asking my little siblings to let me have “alone time” for awhile. 😉 Whatever little sacrifices or maneuvers it takes.

Because I want to have an intimate relationship with my eternal Father. Jesus Christ, our own Savior and Lord, set the example for us on how to have close relationship with the Father. He went out often to be alone and pray and be in God’s presence. Below is just one example in Scripture.

Luke 6:12

12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

And, I oftentimes have heavy burdens on my heart that really need to be wrestled over and poured out in prayer.

Ephesians 6:18

18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

Which brings me to the point of this post … love people through prayer.

Is it a family member?

A friend?

Your spouse?

A co-worker?

A child?

Father? Mother? Brother? Sister?

Uncle? Aunt? Cousin? Grandparent?

Who is heavy on your heart right now as you read this post? Whose lifestyle or attitude brings you grief? Who are you worried about because life is weighing heavy on them? Who in your life doesn’t know Christ? Or isn’t following Him well?

I want to really encourage you –

Pray for them.

And don’t stop. Even if nothing seems to change. Even if things seem to get worse. Even if it takes years to see the fruit of your prayers. GOD HEARS YOU. Keep lifting up that person to Him. Over and over. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. Don’t give up.

Romans 12:9-12

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

At times we are so burdened and grieved over people in our lives, and we wonder what we can do to make a difference or bring about change. We have to realize that we can PRAY, and this is a great PRIVILEGE, and a POWERFUL WEAPON.

James 5:13-18

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 18:19-20

19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

So please, get on your knees before a faithful and mighty God.

Don’t give in.

Satan wants you to give in. To throw your hands up and say: They won’t change. It’s not worth it. I guess I have to just accept this and live with it.

But Satan is a liar. And he is not the victor.

John 8:44

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Love the hurting and hurtful people in your life through prayer. And wait in expectation for God to move. For He came to give life, and life more abundantly! And He isn’t desiring that any should perish in sin, but that everybody be in relationship with Him!

1 John 5:14

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

So, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, will you commit with me to being prayer warriors?

Will you grow closer to your Lord through prayer?

Will you love people through prayer?

Will you be blessed and encouraged through prayer?

Will you wait expectantly and faithfully for God to move?

Will you just rejoice that He has given you prayer?

  • A comfort.
  • A delight.
  • A hope.
  • A blessing.
  • A weapon.

Colossians 4:2

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

Choosing Joy

What does it look like to choose joy each day? To see through the eyes of gratitude? To embrace every gift He gives?

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What does it look like?

To choose joy even when I don’t have what my heart desires.

To choose joy even when I’m not sure what my purpose is.

To choose joy even when I feel like time is ticking in my ear and I’m not certain what I should do with it.

To choose joy even when my imperfections – be they physical, emotional, or spiritual – are trying to reach up and wrap themselves around my lungs and suffocate me.

To choose joy even in the struggle, the messy, the pain, the questions, the overwhelming, and the unknown.

How to choose joy?

It seems like an insurmountable mountain at times. How can I climb to the top of that sheer cliff and grab hold of joy when I already feel overcome by weariness?

Maybe it looks a little differently than sheer willpower.

Maybe it’s about choosing Jesus.

Like, going straight to your Bible and sitting in His presence when you feel depression creeping in.

Seeing His hand in everything.

Like, noticing every little, sweet thing in each day.

Trusting His truth.

Like, remembering the verse in His Word that tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Trusting that He will take care of you because He said He would.

CHOOSING JOY is living fully immersed in the moment – whether talking to your friend, laughing with your little siblings, making supper, or going to that fall gathering. Stop constantly living in your mind, thinking: when am I going to get a chance to pour out everything that I want to say? Maybe I should get back to my social media/texting/project. How long is this meal going to take so I can eat? Will I finally make some girl friends or meet a special guy here? Live that moment, and in doing so, it is perhaps like thanking God for giving it to you.

CHOOSING JOY is making the most of the day you’re in – even if you sense that you’ve wandered and God will be calling you somewhere else in the days of tomorrow – just living this day as faithfully as you can. Spend quiet time with the Lord. Glean wisdom. Love on whoever may be around you (siblings and parents?). Serve people, even in just little ways, that you know will bless them.

CHOOSING JOY means reading Scripture. Let the words of God wash over you, heart and soul. Read those verses on joy, and thankfulness, and peace, and hope as many times as you need. Whenever bitterness, depression, or listlessness start welling up … Read Scripture verses on joy. Meditate on them. Memorize them. Write them on sticky notes and post it around your house.

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-12

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

Psalm 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 94:19

19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.

Philippians 4:4 & 6-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Colossians 3:15-17

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

CHOOSING JOY looks like writing a list of everything you see as beautiful and blessed. (See One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp) Take time to notice and appreciate every gift God puts in your day. Sunshine. Rain. Fall colors. Insects chirping. Laughter. Little brother playing with your hair. A child’s innocence. Inspiration. Warm socks. Good books. Family around the table. Savory food. Don’t just glance over the everyday-life things. Praise God for each simple gift and special moment.

CHOOSING JOY is found being out amidst nature. I don’t know about you, but being outside in the forest and warm rays of sun makes everything look up for me. There’s a stillness. A peace. A feeling of closeness to Creator God. So put aside some time to get outside. Walk through the woods. Go hiking. Drive around and enjoy scenic views. Visit the mountains. Go camping. Dance through an open field. See God’s handiwork. Feel His goodness. Worship Him in all of His majesty and love.

CHOOSING JOY is an empty house, worship music turned up, and dancing. Even with your broken heart, your wounded soul, your present struggles, gripping pain, heavy burdens, and twisting fear … turn up that music and dance before your God and Father. Lift up your hands to Him. Surrender it all. Cry freely over that unresolved issue in your life. Give everything back. And simply rejoice in being His. Rejoice in Him making you feel whole in that moment, even though you know nothing about your outward circumstances has changed. (See Isaac by Hollyn)

CHOOSING JOY is giving someone a genuine smile.

CHOOSING JOY is always coming into His presence with thanksgiving in our heart. Pray, friends. Pray often! And even if you’re coming before Him with a heavy burden or hurting heart, choose to praise Him. Praise Him for being your God, your Father, your Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. Praise Him for being your Creator, your Lord, your Guide, and your Provider. Praise Him for being your Healer and your Hope. Praise Him for being the true and eternal Lover of your soul.

How do you choose joy, my friend?

Or are you stuck in a cycle of joy-lessness, ingratitude, depression, or bitterness?

I would encourage you today, at the start of this new month, to find a notebook or journal and just start jotting down each good thing you see. Big or small. Enormous or minuscule. Even if it seems silly, such as: soft carpet under my feet.

Just write it down.

Just choose joy.

Psalm 95:1-7

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Hey, Singles …

Ah, that dreaded word.

Singles.

Actually, it’s not all that bad. 😉 When I stop thinking about “single” as a label that defines me completely, I began to stop worrying, fussing about, and dreading hearing it.

Now, I still do sometimes have a problem with how some people treat unmarried people … “When are you going to get a boyfriend?” “Why aren’t you married yet?” “You’re being too fussy.” “Aw, you poor, lonely thing!” “You’re not making yourself available enough!” Like, how about encouraging us to thrive where God has us instead of making us feel incomplete, behind, or lacking (as we already tend to struggle with feeling like!)?

But that’s a whole different post.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been doing much better with accepting my place in life right now and learning to blossom. Last year around this time I was feeling really down and just wishing I could be married and having children like (almost) all of my friends and cousins were.

I feel like God has done a lot of work on my heart since then.

I still have a deep heart’s desire to be married one day.

But, I’m finding joy in other things that God has given me and actively pursuing life right now as an unmarried woman.

Today, I want to present a few points – things that are helping me get to this place of excitement and passion and contentment. I’m still a work-in-progress! But God is ever teaching me. Oh, how faithful He is. We just have to stay humble and pressing into Him and His goodness.

1) Don’t be Single, be in a Relationship with Jesus Christ

Friends, I know the loneliness can feel excruciating. Numbing. Depressing. Especially in some seasons of life where other negative things are going on as well. I can’t give a perfect solution to take the loneliness away. So here’s my advice:

Let your lonely heart drive you to Jesus.

Your loneliness, your broken heart, your confusion, your hopelessness, your unmet desires, your fear, your shattered dreams … instead of letting them crush you, let them push you toward God.

I know it’s hard. But open your hands. And surrender. Again, and again, and again.

As you grow closer to Christ, you’ll begin to realize that this is what you need. Him. A closeness with God. A dependency on Him. Hope and joy and peace in Him. Because this is the lasting stuff! These are the things that will never let you down or let you go. Because our God is faithful.

And He is love.

On those days when being single feels very hard and very solitary, guess what? God can meet you there. And He will, if you allow Him.

If you’re too busy surfing the web, checking Facebook for the hundredth time and stalking cute boys, watching movie after movie … anything to fill your loneliness … (anything but God, that is), then you’re going to miss His gentle, awesome Presence.

But if you aren’t desperately scrambling to fill the void of a boyfriend/husband, you’ll start to realize that God is always there beside you. Waiting to hear your voice. Your whisper. Your cry.

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He walks with you. And in the moments when you feel rejected or lonely or sad or just down, you can talk to Him and share your whole heart.

I love the idea that I can go to God with my feelings at any moment. Anywhere. I love that I am His and He is mine. I love that my life is one exciting, beautiful love story with Him.

Yes, sometimes the ache for a human companion and best friend is nearly tangible.

But God keeps reminding me that He is here and He’s taking care of me and providing me with all I need.

And in that is incomprehensible peace, joy, love, and passion for life!

If you don’t have a close relationship with Jesus Christ, your life is going to be fraught with loneliness, unmet expectations, and discontentment – whether your married or single!

You have to come to this place of emptiness where you feel like all you can do is cry out to the Lord. And then, wow, let Him fill you up.

Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

2) Realize there are a lot of Mr. Wrongs out there

Okay, so I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding “Mr. Right”. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about all the “Mr. Wrongs”; and they are out there, let me assure you!

So let me explain. There have been times in my life where I’ve been like, “I just want to get married! Why does this have to be so complicated? I’ll just find a nice, Christian guy and we’ll fall in love and live happily ever after.”

But listen, ladies. There are a lot of nice, Christian guys out there that aren’t right for you.

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They aren’t pursuing a close relationship with God like you are. They don’t have the same passion for glorifying God in everything and living out His plans for their life like you do. Maybe they don’t have a love for Jesus like the one you feel in your heart. Maybe they aren’t actively working through struggles and hurts in their life because they don’t trust God enough yet. Perhaps he’s a great guy, but he has such different convictions, passions, and ideas about life. Maybe he doesn’t have hardly any convictions or passions at all.

Just because he goes to church and believes in God doesn’t make him the right partner for you, dear Christian woman.

I’m not saying you’ll find a perfect man. Because you most certainly won’t. (And if you think you will, you’re going to fall a mighty long way from cloud nine.)

But if you’re desiring to live your life for God’s glory (and this is His will for you!) then don’t you think God wills for you to have a man who’s deeply desiring the same thing?

If you’re going to be partners, don’t you think you need to be moving in the same direction?

I don’t know about you, but I want my husband to be my soul mate. By that I mean, I want him to understand and share the deepest parts of me – heart and soul. My relationship with a very real Creator God. My love for Jesus Christ, God’s Son. My firm belief that I’m God’s daughter by Jesus’ blood and my faith in Him. My belief that the Bible is absolute truth. My hunger for Him, His Word, and prayer time. My desire to live my life for Him, use my gifts (which He gave me for a purpose) for His glory and people’s good, raise children to know and love Him … !

I’m not perfect. But as I desire and seek … and over and over again find God and His will as my central desire … why would I bind myself to a man who can’t understand & share in that?

It makes no sense.

So, as I grow in the Lord and realize that I do have very specific desires when it comes to a husband, and not all the guys out there are going to meet those standards, it helps me in some way.

To be patient.

I so deeply desire a godly husband that I know I’m one-hundred percent willing to wait as long as it takes!

It perhaps helps calm my anxious heart that worries as all these guys pass me by. I say to myself, “I’m seeking God’s will for my life and I’m not willing to settle for a man who’s not desiring the Lord like I am. I can’t just dash out there and find a suitable guy in mere seconds because my standards are high. Therefore I must surrender and trust God to work out my earthly love story if He has marriage in store for me.

I let go … and I find peace and joy.

3) Find a Community. Build Relationships. Look for ways to Bless and Serve People!

Love people and live life! ❤ Don’t let singleness stop you, folks. There was never any reason that it should!

So come out of that dark hole. Press into the Lord and realize your standards – what you want in a husband … what God would want you to choose/seek!

Next, find a community. I believe when God speaks of alone-ness in Genesis, He’s not just saying marriage is good. He’s saying people being with people is good – family is good and friends are good and community is good.

Genesis 2:18

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

We should be doing life with other people whether we’re single or married. We should have close friendships and wise mentors in our lives. We should be looking for other people to bless and mentor!

Now, there are some seasons where we’re just alone. And God uses this. Most times to draw us to Him! (That’s what I’ve found in my life. In that way, being alone can actually turn out to be a beautiful thing … when it draws us to the Lover of our souls.)

But we’re not meant to be without human companionship forever. So find a church community and make friends! 🙂

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For myself, I’ve been visiting different churches! I like the church that my family goes to – the teaching is solid and encouraging. However, I’m having a hard time getting involved. So I’ve been visiting different churches, looking for one that has great fellowship and I can really be in community with. It’s been fun, trying out new churches! I get a little nervous at times, but I love meeting new people! (If they’re the ones to introduce themselves and strike up a conversation, haha!)

I’ve involved myself in Bible studies. Even started one for my younger sister and her friends. Now, we haven’t been able to do any study nights recently, but I’m hopefully we’ll be able to again soon! I’m plotting and planning and toying with ideas of going through this book or that book. 😉 And I might try out the Wednesday night Bible study at the new church I’m going to currently.

I’m grateful for the chance to grow closer to siblings, family & relatives, and long-distance friends. Yes, sometimes it’s hard because my life can be so monotonous. And then I start feeling down and don’t feel like putting any effort into building old relationships.

But, that’s why I’m trying to get into a community and try new things. Keeping a spark of excitement in life helps me to remember the people already around me and how I shouldn’t let this stage slip by without growing close to them!

One thing that continues to be really hard is not having any friends my age. I have a few long-distance friends, but we don’t get the chance to talk very often.

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Do you all have any advice for me? 🙂 Besides looking for a church family to get involved with, what can I do to meet new people and make friends?? Haha. It’s been difficult, but I’m thankful for my siblings and their friends, aunts, my mom, cousins, etc.

Last night I went to a disc-golf course with my thirteen-year-old brother and seventeen-year-old sister. We enjoy disc-golf! Well … my brother loves it. I enjoy it. 😉

So there’s another tip … look for ways to hang out with your younger siblings (or cousins or something.) Look for ways to invest in their lives. Mentor them, maybe.

That’s been helpful for me. It pulls my focus off of just me and my life and my struggles and my hurts, and starts investing my heart and emotions in other people. So I can find hope through their lives. I can feel joy for them when good things come their way. I can pray for them. I can help them through the hard times. I can rejoice when they succeed. Grow. Receive their dreams.

So whoever God has in your life right now, find ways to serve and bless them! Get involved in their lives and journey together! Share emotions, hopes, hardships, and dinners. 😉

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4) Pursue your Dreams. Invest in your Talents. Don’t wait to do what you feel like God is calling you to.

Y’all, what is God calling you to? Don’t be deceived … if your heart is beating, you have a purpose! Don’t miss out on this wonderful thing because you’re too busy waiting to get married.

If you can break away from the depression that comes from a broken heart and the listlessness that comes from shattered dreams and the hopelessness that comes from lack of trust …

You will realize that there are beautiful things out there within your reach, but you’ve been so consumed with one beautiful thing (aka: marriage) that you’ve been blinded to all the rest.

What was it you always wanted to be when you were younger (for me, it was an author!)? Or what opportunities do you see around you that tug at your heart? A younger person who needs a mentor? A group of young people who would be blessed by a Bible study (ladies, you could start a girl’s Bible study using Love Defined!)? A Crisis Pregnancy Center that could use some volunteers? Maybe your church is going on a mission trip and you have a heart for overseas missions.

Ponder it. Dig deep. What do you have a passion for? What do you feel God might be calling you to? Maybe He is calling you to marriage … someday. But right now there are other opportunities available while your future spouse is out of sight!

As for my personal life, there’s a chance I’m going to have a full-time job very soon. (I’d appreciate your prayers!) Meanwhile, I’ve been novel-writing quite a bit and absolutely adoring it. I’m remembering that God gave me a passion and a gift for writing and I should definitely be pursuing that and using it for His glory! ❤

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

So yes, I’ve gotten excited about that once again. I have a desire to publish more books – stories that I hope will touch reader’s heart for God. I know that I have a few loyal fans out there and they remind why I love writing. I’m not exactly sure what God has in store for me, but I’m trying to use my time wisely and write whenever I can. If He wills it, I want to publish again soon!

I tried my hand at making soap and it was a good experience! Not as hard as I thought. Though I was a little scared about mixing the lye. Good news, it all went well and I didn’t splat any on myself or my sister! :p So we have a beautiful batch of charcoal soap that smells of lavender and tea tree oil stacked on the top of my sister’s bookshelf. We’re hoping to make some more this coming week.

And yeah. Blogging, booktubing, Bible studies, and more! I’m trying different things and just seeing where God takes me.

I hope you all will too! Pursue God. Trust Him with your life. Take steps of faith. Enjoy life! Try some new things. Do what you love, all for His glory. ❤

Matthew 6:31-33

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

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That’s what I have for today. Hopefully it wasn’t too long-winded! Happy Saturday, readers! I’m probably off yard-saling while you all read this post. 😉 Hope you enjoy your day – breathing in God’s love and looking to Him to direct your life.

Live loved, dear fellow singles, and live to the fullest.

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Books for the Fearful Heart

Happy Saturday, readers!

Today I’m excited to share with you some books specifically addressing fear that have really impacted me. I have a heart and mind that tend to fret and be fearful, and are often within the iron grip of anxiety – and it’s taken me a long time to learn some of the lessons these books teach.

If any of you out there can relate, I wholeheartedly recommend these Christian Living books to you. First get out your Bible, then purpose copies of these books. And prepare to go on a journey.

Face your fears. Grow in faith. Lean on your heavenly Father. Find joy.

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Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for Your Anxious Heart by Maria Furlough

(I haven’t finished this book yet, but so far it’s been phenomenal. I believe God is using what Maria went through to impact my life here and now.)

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Fearless: Building a Faith That Overcomes Your Fear by Cheri Fuller

(Read my review HERE)

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Can I Just Hide in Bed ‘Til Jesus Comes Back?: Facing Life With Courage, Not Comforters by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield

(Read my review HERE)

So there are just three books, besides God’s Holy Word, that have helped me in my battle against fear and anxiety (and even depression). I hope you will find the courage to acknowledge your own fearful heart and find help.

You don’t have to live within anxiety’s clutches.

God has so much more for you! If you could just surrender to Him! ❤

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As a parting note, I’m going to change my blogging schedule back to posting here on Lady Grace just once a week – Saturdays. I have some things coming up in life and I’m realizing I’m not going to have time for everything. So I have to cut back a little. I hope you all will keep joining me here on Saturdays!

And also check out my other blog: Between the Pages of This Bookish Life. I post there on Thursdays and share my Youtube videos on Mondays. This coming Monday’s video has to do with love & romance!