My Quiet Time

Good morning, readers and friends! I hope this second Saturday of the new year finds you well. ^_^ Today I wanted to take a little bit of time to share with you what my quiet time looks like.

It is so vitally important to be reading the Word and talking to your Heavenly Father. And just literally having quiet time. Where your mind is at rest and you quiet your heart. When the stress eases away and you can sort through your thoughts or simply be still.

So, make a goal for 2019! Make time for God, and for rest.

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First thing I do when I wake up to a new day … PRAY. The more I discover prayer, the more passionate I am about it. Prayer is a heart-changer, a life-changer, a world-changer. It strengthens your soul, calms your heart, and shows you the sweetness of communion with God like few other things can.

I want to pray more. So this year I took the leap. I’m getting up at least a half an hour earlier than the rest of my family so that I have quiet time to pray. Now, I do not like getting up early. I am not a morning person. But I knew this day would come. So here I am, getting up before I “have” to … and loving it.

So, talk to God for a half hour or so.

Then I get up, get ready for the day, and usually do my Bible-reading while eating breakfast. I started my second read-through of the Bible in October of last year. So I’m currently in Deuteronomy and Mark. (*whispers* … a little behind, but I’ll catch up!)

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I highlight, underline, and write things on sticky notes. Yep, I’m that kind of person. And it’s helpful for me!

Also, I read the NKJV as of now. What translations do you all like to read?

I started a little gratitude journal. So usually jot down some things in there each day.

I’m currently not working outside the home, so after breakfast I clean up the kitchen and do other chores … whatever needs to be done. Many times I put in my earbuds and either listen to music or sermons/inspirational talks/whatever while cleaning.

J.D. Greear, John Piper, Matt Chandler, Dale & VeronicaPriscilla Shirer, Daily Disciple, FarAwayDistance, Paul & Morgan, Girl Defined, Joseph Solomon, Emily Wilson, Coffee Girls … there is a surprising amount of godly brothers and sisters on Youtube who have some amazing wisdom to share.

Of course, I love to read! My goal this year is to read a Christian Living nonfiction for every novel I read. (I go a little more into this on my other blog.) So perhaps during lunch I’ll pull out my nonfiction or novel and do a little reading. Now with nonfiction, I like to highlight and underline. That way I can go back through my books and re-read those bits of wisdom that I had gleaned.

Right now I’m working through One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp (which has been amazing), and Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I’m not sure why I hadn’t discovered this little Christian allegory before! It’s been quite lovely.

A glowing sun-orb fills an August sky the day this story begins, the day I am born, the day I  begin to live. ~ Ann Voskamp

This is the story of how Much-Afraid escaped from her Fearing relatives and went with the Shepherd to the High Places where “perfect love casteth out fear”. ~ Hannah Hurnard

I’m also going through Max Lucado’s Grace For The Moment. It takes so little time to read each day’s devotional, but if I feel like it gets to be just one thing too many, I may put this book aside.

I know a lot of people say they don’t have time to read, but I would encourage you to make time. Not only is reading a chapter or two a day said to greatly help to reduce stress, but you can glean so much helpful & amazing wisdom and information from books! Connect with your brothers & sisters in Christ from all over the world by reading their books, and let them show you what God has been teaching them!

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I would like to journal more regularly this year. It’s a way sort through and process things, reduce stress, and record what God is doing in my life & heart! I also enjoy writing letters to my future husband on occasion in a journal. 🙂

These are ways for me to slow down and refocus.

And listening to music! Listening to great songs, worshiping, dancing around the house, lifting up my hands and soul to the Lover of my soul! That’s some time well-spent, I believe. There’s something about good music that can definitely relieve tension and stress. And good lyrics that put my focus back on Christ & glorifying Him. Right where it needs to be.

Well, there it is. That pretty much sums up my quiet time and restful, stress-relieving activities. I’m trying to live my days intentionally, to the glory of God, and these things help so much.

Now, to become intimately part of the local Body of Christ! ❤

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR QUIET TIME!

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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;

Fight for the Faith

In a world where right is wrong and wrong is right (or, there are no absolutes at all), it is time for Christ-followers to step up and fight for the faith. For your own sake, you need to fight for what you claim as your beliefs.

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Do you know that when we stop fighting for things, they gradually – moment by moment, year by year, generation to generation – slip out of our grasp? Freedom needs to be fought for. Marriages need to be fought for. Dreams need to be fought for.

Faith needs to be fought for.

Do you know that the Bible instructs us to fight for our faith?

Jude 1:3-4

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

This doesn’t mean arguing all the time, writing scathing comments online, or hating on people or groups we don’t agree with.

It does mean immersing yourself in the Word, leaning on God, and standing firm on the Truth.

Do not waver. Do not listen to every new idea that comes your way. Don’t let the winds of doctrine toss you around until your head is spinning, your knees buckling, and your heart afraid. We, as Christians, do have a firm foundation to root ourselves in.

God’s Word.

I know that sometimes the Bible is hard to understand. But you’re not going to figure out more about God’s truth by listening to the culture, the media, or secular speakers and movie stars. Friends, as confused as you may be, you need to delve deeper into the Holy Bible, not go chasing after other voices that supposedly have spiritual revelations of what truth really is.

Fellow Christians may be able to help you understand, but make sure you are lining up what they say against the Word of God. Study your Bible and grow in knowledge of God and His nature.

And don’t just read. Pray. Pray that God will teach you. Seek Him. Ask for a desire to know Him intimately. Do you know that the Bible says that if you seek God will all your heart, He will be found by you? Do you know it says those who seek wisdom will find it? Are you claiming these truths? God’s Word is living and active and sharper than any sword.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

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. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity;

Proverbs 1:20-23

20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
23 Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

Hebrews 4:12-13

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

So stop letting the world push you around.

Dust off your Bible – pick up your sword.

This is your weapon with which to fight. Your Bible is a crucial part of your walk with God. It has the power to change you. To change your life. To grow you in wisdom. To pull you into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. -Filled with the fullness of love, unbreakable hope, deep joy, immense power, and peace that passes understanding.

Philippians 4:4-7

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

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

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.

I challenge you to read your Bible daily. You need it in order to stay rooted in God as you face conflicting opinions and differing worldviews and Satan’s fiery darts each day.

Ephesians 6:11-13

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

What warrior goes into battle without his sword?

Why would you go out into the world without God’s Word in your heart? Fresh on your mind? Ready on your lips?

Ephesians 6:16-18

16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit

We need to stop living so passively. This world is our battlefield. We do have a very real Enemy prowling around. And without our sword, he will began to succeed in stealing our abundant life.

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.

So grab your Bible, join your fellow soldiers (aka: a community of believers!), and live courageously and to the fullest under the shadow of the Most High!

Psalm 91:1-2

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

SOLDIER by Unspoken

Spiritual Warfare

Hi, readers! How is your Tuesday going? How has your week been? It’s been going well for me. Yesterday I posted a video on my Youtube channel, a post on my other blog, cleaned, went shopping, bought some ingredients so that perhaps I can start making soap soon … And best of all (*winks*), I finished reading Cloak of the Light and started on the sequel!

That’s what I want to talk to you about today. -The main theme of these books.

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Cloak of the Light is book one in a spectacular series called WARS OF THE REALM by Chuck Black. The second book is called Rise of the Fallen. And the third, Light of the Last. The first book was a riveting, powerful adventure that not only kept me turning pages, but gave me some serious food for thought about the spiritual realm. After reading this book, I’ve gained a great respect and admiration for Chuck Black. He seems like a solid guy – his writing amazing and his faith sincere.

 

So yes, I really recommend these books! Check them out, and also Chuck Black’s two other series: THE KINGDOM series and THE KNIGHTS OF ARRETHTRAE (both non-magical fantasy).

 

 

That all being said, let’s talk about spiritual warfare. It’s perhaps something that isn’t discussed enough within the Church. Which is why I so admire Chuck Black for incorporating this topic into his novels!

Are you aware of the spiritual realm around you? Do you know you have a part in it? What are some important things to know when it comes to spiritual warfare?

1) Know Your Enemy

I once read a survey that said something like half of “Christians” do not believe Satan is a real being. They believe he is figurative or symbolic, but not real and not important.

This is crazy, and seriously detrimental to said Christians when it comes to the reality of spiritual warfare.

The Bible validates the reality of an Enemy – Satan. And not only that, but states that he is like a roaring lion, prowling about and seeking who he might devour.

John 10:10

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

This is serious.

If we don’t believe we have an enemy, how can we fight back? We can’t. We will sit there in oblivion while he wages attack after attack.

If you don’t believe in the devil, then I believe you’re opening up doors for him to whisper lies in your ears, twist your identity, kill your joy, and steal your abundant life. All while you stand defenseless – not knowing how to stand up for yourself. Not even knowing you’re being attacked.

So know your enemy.

1 Peter 5:8-11

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devourResist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Get knowledge. Gain wisdom. Be aware. Be vigilant. Satan hates God and all of His people. He is against all that you stand for as a Christ-follower, and there’s no reason he won’t try to thwart what God’s doing in and through your life.

2) Ready Your Weapons

If there’s a war going on, we need weapons. Even if we can’t see the spiritual realm – demons and angels – we definitely have a part in the war. It’s a battle for lost souls, for God’s purposes, for your joy and fearlessness and abundant life.

Ephesians 6:10-20

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

So ready your weapons, sisters and brothers in Christ. Our weapons against Satan and his demons are:

Prayer.

God’s Word.

The name of Jesus.

Be in prayer, friends! May your each day be a prayer! Draw near to the Lord through prayer. Resist the devil through prayer. Stay in God’s Word. Read your Bible often. It is our source of truth, hope, knowledge, and courage!

James 4:7-8

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

If you don’t know your weapons, you’re not going to be able to fight very effectively. When the Enemy comes at you (in various different ways, shapes, and forms), you’re liable to cower in weakness … or even start to believe the lies he’s throwing at you. Because you don’t immerse yourself in Truth enough.

2 Corinthians 11:3

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:10-11

10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

So grow in the Lord and know your Bible. And remember that there is vast power in the name of Jesus! A legion of demons cowered before Him! You can call out darkness in His holy and all-powerful name.

Luke 8:28-31

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.

30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”

And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.

3) Fight Back

We are not helpless in the tumultuous life. Even when the darkness creeps in – thick and stifling – we are called and able to be lights of the world.

Matthew 5:14 & 16

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

So fight back. Be a warrior. Specifically, a prayer warrior. The Bible tells us that there is power in prayer.

Acts 9:40

40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.

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 much17 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.

Mark 11:24

24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

How do you pray in a way that makes a difference in the spiritual realm? Well, I don’t really understand a whole lot about spiritual warfare and how prayer works. But I know it works. So pray.

One day I was feeling tired and a little anxious. By afternoon, I was starting to become fearful. All these crazy, horrible thoughts were spinning through my mind, making me doubt my security and just feel really, really alone and drowning in dread.

But I’d been keeping my weapons at ready, so my spirit told me that this wasn’t truth or what God wanted me to feel, even though these feelings of dread and terror were very real and almost overpowering.

Feeling very weak, I began to pray: “Satan, get behind me. The Lord rebuke you, Satan. You have no power over me, because I belong to Jesus Christ. The victory is His, and therefore mine, because I am in Him. You cannot steal my hope or my joy. Darkness, leave, I pray in Jesus’ name.”

I can’t remember exactly all that I prayed, but it was something like that. I believe it was within moments that the dread left and I began to feel normal again. A few hours later the incident was so far removed from me that I had forgotten it even happened! Instead of darkness, there was light and peace all around me. 🙂

I hope that encourages you, dear readers. As children of God, we have power through Him to fight back. And we can fight on behalf of others by praying for them. Pray God’s truth over them. Pray for God’s will in their lives. Pray for victory over sin. Pray for them to be equipped with everything they need to walk the path God’s calling them to.

Stay strong in Christ, fellow warriors!

❤ Lady Grace

Romans 16:19-20

Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

Finding Joy in the Lover of My Soul

Happy Valentine’s Day, darling readers! I thought I’d talk about that today since I missed posting on the actual day.

Lover of My Soul(picture found on pixabay.com)

So, how are you feeling? I know the day celebrating love can be hard for some people. Maybe you’re going through a rough time in your marriage. Maybe you’re in a season of singleness.

I, myself, have no “special someone” in my life at this time. But I quite enjoyed Valentine’s Day this year. 😀 It was fantastically beautiful.

The days before Valentine’s Day were good ones for me. Sunday, my family and I went to Bible study at our dear friend’s house, as usual. I got some laughing in, which is always fabulous. I don’t have anyone in my age group at this particular Bible study, but I enjoy doing a study and chatting with the moms, and also hanging out with my seventeen-year-old sister and her friends. So that’s lovely. *feels joyful just thinking about it*

Proverbs 17:22

22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,

Monday, a friend’s children were over at my family’s house for the morning/afternoon. I went to a doctor appointment, and then stopped at the library. Back at home, I did some housework, then worked on a blog post for a few hours.

Tuesday, we did wood! My dad split while most of the rest of us stacked. I wore my “work pants” which are splattered in paint and such from hours of remodeling work on the house last summer. They quickly became splattered in mud. Friends, it was a sunny day, but very muddy. My boots kept getting stuck, and I had to wrench them out of almost ankle-deep mud time and time again, haha. My gloves were also soaked in mud. Stacking wood is … interesting. Trying to find just the right place for each piece of wood, fitting it together like a puzzle. About the time that the pile of wood was reaching my height, I started feeling tired and it was taking a bit of effort to heave wood into place, haha. But it was then that I needed to go inside and get ready to drive my sister somewhere.

wood-1884339_1920(found on pixabay.com)

My sister and I spent an hour or so at this friend’s house … me writing and minding my own business while my sister and Mom’s friend talked about photography and editing tips.

Wednesday, February 14th, I attended a Valentine’s Day party with my mom and siblings. I just went along because … you know. Family and friends! I very much enjoyed visiting with some of the moms there. Good fellowship. They encourage me. ❤

I worked on blog stuff, cleaned, and made a gluten-free chocolate cherry pudding cake! I enjoyed a special supper with my parents and siblings, and wrote down things I love/admire about each person.

I went outside with some of my younger siblings and my seventeen-year-old sister, fifteen-year-old sister, eleven-year-old sister, and I danced and sang in the cool night air. I felt so free and joyful, and belonging to the Lover of my soul! ❤

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I am happy loving on family and friends right now. Yes, sometimes I do feel moments of deep longing … for romantic love, for marriage, for a man who’s my best friend. But, I think I’m finally learning to be content where God has me. To embrace the path He’s leading me on. Is my desire for love, for closeness, for romance, for a lifelong relationship gone? By no means! Being a wife and mother is still one of my deepest dreams. I still am intentional about studying marriage from a Biblical perspective, and praying for & writing letters to my future husband.

To be honest, I think that’s helped!

First, cultivating a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Being closer to Him—feeling His love and Presence—, experiencing the sweetness of prolonged prayer time has filled up a lot of my lonely heart. The more important my relationship with Him becomes to me, the more fulfilled I am as I open my heart and He draws me nearer.

When I immerse myself in the truth that I am chosen and loved by Him—complete in Him—it heals a part of me that feels I’m not chosen and wanted by an earthly man.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

2 Corinthians 6:18

18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

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.

I am part of Jesus Christ’s eternal Bride. How amazing and beautiful is that? My dear sisters and brothers who feel “single”, “alone”, and “unwanted” are your identity, dwell on that for a while. You belong. He is by your side. You are chosen.

Ephesians 5:25-27 & 32

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

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.

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 49:16

16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;

Isaiah 62:5

And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

Beloved.

Beloved.

Beloved.

If you belong to Christ, know that you are His beloved.

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The next thing that helps me is fellowship and community. Just feeling like I have a place where I very much belong, even as an unmarried, adult woman. Connecting deeply. Sharing. Giving of yourself. Having a purpose. Being mentored. Conversation. Laughter.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Thirdly, as I mentioned above, writing letters to and praying for my future husband is helpful. Perhaps it helps me keep from getting “boy crazy”. It gives me something to focus on and pour my desire for marriage into.

When I came to a place where I did not want to get married unless the man enhanced my relationship with the Lord—unless he is desiring to and actively pursuing Christ, and his deepest prayer for me is that I grow closer to Christ—writing letters and praying started becoming a lot more purposeful and joyful. If I am to marry, he will truly be a man God chose for me. If I am to marry, God sees that man even now, and so I want to pray for him. And I smile at the thought of him reading the letters, knowing I was thinking of him even now. Waiting for him. Truly waiting.

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So, press into the Lord, even as He’s pursuing you! Find a community to be deeply a part of. And write to your future husband, if you want! Maybe it’ll help you be content waiting for him, rather than getting distracted by every cute boy who happens across your path.

Seriously, being “single” is so much better than having someone when you know he isn’t God’s will for you. You have freedom to passionately run after Jesus Christ and the path He’s set before you, instead of struggling more than necessary because you’re walking a path He hasn’t give you peace about.

John 15:15

15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

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I finished off Valentine’s Day by having heart talks with my sister. Then I sat in the living room—the whole house quiet as my family slept—and wrote a letter to help me work through emotions and feelings from years ago. The letter will probably never be mailed. But writing it brought peace to my heart. And then I went off to bed and slept restfully.

February 15th, I wrote a letter to my future husband. And then I wrote to my beloved Lord. ❤ It ended up being a rough day, in some ways, but God carried me through. Praise Him!

Psalm 71:1-3 , 5-6 , & 22-24

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.

For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.

22 Also with the lute I will praise You—
And Your faithfulness, O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
24 My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long;
For they are confounded,
For they are brought to shame
Who seek my hurt.

Oh, and I started a Bible study! Pray for me, that God will work in and through me! And pray for the wonderful young people who are part of the study. I’m excited to seek the Lord together with them! 🙂

Lady Grace ❤

1 Corinthians 13:12-13

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

the journey

Hello, lovely readers! How are you doing this fine Saturday?

It’s actually Friday right now, as I write this. I just sat down with a snack and my laptop after a morning/afternoon of “weekly cleaning”. I have a bit of an idea for the topic of this post, but I’m not entirely sure what all I’m going to write. We’ll see how this goes. I’m trying to stay on my blogging schedule! 😉

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So, I’m a writer. Thus, it might not surprise you that I journal my prayers. I haven’t always done this, but I started my first prayer journal at around eleven or twelve-years-old. Journaling my prayers was sporadic from there on out. In the year of 2014, February 25th to be exact, I started writing down my prayers in a new journal—a pretty blue one that I received from a cousin for my seventeenth birthday. That was a year of a lot of seeking on my part.

Jeremiah 29:13

13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I set you apart;

This song pretty much sums up the passion burning in my heart:

“I know that I am far from perfect
But through You the cross still says I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different,”

But anyway. For a span of a couple months, I wrote and wrote and wrote in that journal. I prayed for a more intimate walk with Jesus Christ. I prayed for my friends and acquaintances at youth group and Bible study. I prayed a lot for my brothers in Christ that year—I think because one of my friends had a heart to see them grow into men of God and that influenced me. I prayed for singers I knew of who were going through personal loss. I prayed for my family. I prayed for authors I loved. I prayed for friends who were entering romantic relationships. I prayed for growth and blessing in my parent’s marriage. I prayed for deepened faith. I prayed for healing and I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for my grandma who’d lost beloved family members. I prayed for boys I was interested in. I prayed for my future husband. I prayed for the strength to surrender my deep desire for marriage and babies. I prayed about my story, Silver Rose, asking for God’s guidance and wisdom concerning that—for His will to be done and glory be brought to Him!

DSC_0053(My blue prayer journal!)

I don’t recall why, but I stopped writing down my prayers in that blue journal for awhile. 2015 and 2016 were kind of rough years for me. I went through some depression and feeling lost. I started writing in a different journal (which I’d received as a graduation gift from some dear friends), and recorded my prayers there periodically.

At the end of 2017, I picked up my blue journal again, which was a little over halfway filled. I’ve started writing down my prayers again often, and it’s been a joy! It helps me keep focused on praying and it truly is a sweet time with the Lord.

Psalm 84:1-4

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.

Psalm 63:1

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.

So, all that to say, I finished my blue prayer journal! It’s all filled up with prayers from my heart! (And also a few letters to my future husband). It’s certainly a treasure to me.

Sometimes I read through it from the beginning and marvel at the prayers that God answered! The places He’s grown me. The ways He has spoken to my heart.

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I relate still, so much, with the seventeen-year-old me.

Blue Prayer Journal: February 25th, 2014

I want to be set-apart for You, Lord. I want a relationship with You that is beyond any human relationship. I want to shine for You wherever I go. I want to know without a doubt that I can run to You when my heart is broken. I want my life to brim with meaning – I want to live in obedience and love with abandon.

However, life has a way of pulling me down. Satan has a way of whispering lie after lie into my ears in vicious attack. I get weary of a “every-day-is-the-same” life. I get weary. I don’t want to try anymore.

But, Lord, I do believe there’s something greater. And that’s why I’ve started this prayer journal, and have been trying recently to read my Bible more. I’m striving for a life in the center of Your will, Lord, so I plead that You will give me the strength, because I certainly can’t do it on my own!

Yes, I relate to her. But I also see how different I am from the me then. Different in subtle ways, that I might not realize at a brief thought. But as read through my prayers then, I realize …

My God has been so faithful to me.

He has answered my prayers. –My heart’s desire to know Him more. He has grown me and drawn me nearer to Him!

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.

God has carried me through years of overwhelming anxiety. The days when I thought for sure my mom and siblings had gotten in a car accident because they were a few minutes late. The nights where I tried to stifle the gut-wrenching sobs that came from a place of unexplainable grief and fear squeezing my soul. The frightening hours of questioning everything I knew. The long, intense moments of drowning in a mistrust of God. The feeling of yawning emptiness inside. The disappearance of my passions, my desires, my excitement for life, my hope. The fear of death, the fear of disease, the fear of the unknown, the fear of not being wanted.

I feared the end of this life, but I was too scared to live.

Anxiety/depression is still a very real struggle for me. Some days I battle it all day. But I fight. Because I know my God fights for me. Because I know the victory is His, and I am His. So the victory is mine.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

10491171_506556402807978_2598662001276211571_n(The year of 2014 shortly before my family moved. I painted my little sister’s toes and mine the same sparkly pink. *grins*)

My friends, I have found my hope again. As I deal with anxiety/depression, it’s becoming more and more natural to turn to God – my Protector – right away. And even though I’m still trying to find physical healing and get help for this mental struggle, I do find victory! I don’t know how to explain it.

God didn’t take the struggle away. But I feel He’s stepped right into the midst of it. When I surrender and open up my heart to Him, it’s like He lovingly says, “I’m right here, daughter. I have you. No matter what happens, you are going to be alright.”

Psalm 43:5

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

Oh, He is good!

So, so faithful. It was just a week or two ago that I felt like I was within the clutches of despair bordering on terror. So I started praying. And as I prayed God’s truth over myself and reminded myself of all that I am in Him, tears welled up in my eyes and the sweetness of it swept over me. Peace descended on me.

I am His.

His daughter. His princess. His bride. And no one can take that away from me. He chose me. No one can take His love from me. No one can take me from Him. I am loved. I am secure.

Isaiah 54:4

For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.

Isaiah 62:5

And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m so imperfect that sometimes it terrifies me! But then I have to remind myself that I’m His and secure in Him. And He is growing me … what a beautiful thing! He is completing the work He began in me. In my weakness, HE IS STRONG.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Reading through my prayer journal shows me God’s hand in my life. It encourages me when I doubt that I have changed/grown.

And it reminds me that God doesn’t see time as we do. Sometimes I look back and feel as though I’ve wasted my whole life. I’ve done nothing. I’ve been nothing. I’ve not impacted or made a difference for anyone. It’s all meaningless.

But all those years God was pursuing me. Working on me. Helping me through my struggles. Preparing me! Who knows … perhaps for amazing things He yet has in store for this earthly life of mine.

KODAK Digital Still Camera(Me and baby brother in 2014)

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Perhaps I’ll have the beautiful role of a wife and mother someday! Maybe I’ll get to publish my fantasy novel, and other stories. Perhaps I’ll get more followers on my blogs or Youtube channel and it can be my main ministry.

And right now I have the chance to touch the lives of my siblings and parents! And friends. I can take small steps to start mentoring younger sisters in the faith. I’m thinking about starting a small Bible study for older teens.

And I’m excited. Whatever God wants to do in and through me, I have faith that He can do it! Daily, I’m striving to surrender my passions, dreams, gifts, hopes, desires, ideas, and personality – myself! – to Him.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Ephesians 2:10

1For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

I want my life to make much of His holy and good Name.

And so I seek Him and wait in expectation. ❤

Blue Prayer Journal: February 8th, 2018

Gracious Father, to end this prayer journal, I want to first thank You for how far You’ve brought me since I started it! I still struggle, but I can see how You’ve grown me and assured me of Your love … and that is beautiful. ❤ I love You, Lord! Show me how to love You, and Your people, well!

Now it’s your turn! After that rather lengthily amount of rambling about my journal (I’m impressed if you made it through!), I’d like to hear your thoughts.

HAVE YOU EVER USED A PRAYER JOURNAL?

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS GOD HAS WORKED IN YOUR LIFE?

DO YOU KNOW THAT GOD CAN STEP INTO THE MIDST OF YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLES AND FEARS, AND USE YOUR PASSIONS AND GIFTS FOR HIS KINGDOM? ❤

Pages of My Journal: A Letter to My Future Husband

A letter to my future husband

Dear Future Husband,

I want to see you through God’s eyes. I was doing my devotional, and today’s happened to be talking about marriage. At the end, it had a challenge: commit to praying that you can see your spouse through God’s eyes. I thought: Maybe I can do that now. Perhaps I can pray, over and over, that I’ll be able to see you as God sees you. That as soon as I meet you, I will see a child of God. The Lord’s adopted son. A human being with a priceless, precious soul. A potential friend with hurts, struggles, hopes and dreams that maybe I can speak to.

If God sees fit to bless me with a spouse, a husband, you … then I want to treat you as a gift. I want to start cultivating a heart, right now, that is thankful for you, that esteems you, that cherishes you.

I hope and pray that you will be, in every sense of the phrase, my best friend. That we not only have a firm and solid foundation of brother and sister in Christ, but we also have the committed and dear foundation of true friendship. That romance can blossom from that, and we will always stick by each other.

I think this is something I worry about. Perhaps because, in some marriages, it seems that after the infatuation fades, the husband and wife are more enemies than friends. Competing, comparing, and keeping score. I don’t want that. It’s a worrisome thought.

But I trust my Lord, Jesus Christ. I trust my perfect Father. I know He’s working on my heart, and yours. I know He has a good and beautiful path for us. And I know that a romance with Him is what truly sustains. No matter what, I will follow Him. ❤

Yours faithfully

Proverbs 31:10-12

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Pages of My Journal: Psalm One Prayer

Psalm One Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this day, and Your loving care of me – and all Your children! Thank You that we can come to You without hesitance, at any moment.

O Lord, help me to be the joyous woman who delights in Your instruction. I pray that You would teach me to mediate on it always! My good Father, make me like a tree planted beside streams of water. Have Your way in my life; work out Your beautiful plan for me, that as I abide in You, I bear fruit in whatever season of life You lead me to! Don’t let my soul and spirit wither, and my heart fail, but may I find Your strength even in my overwhelming weakness. May Your will be done, O Lord, and may I prosper in all that I do in Your name, for Your glory. Lead me and show me what You would have my life look like. How to use my gifts, talents, passions, and personality for Your glory and for Your honor. You made me and You know me, Father. Lead me on the path that You prepared for me, please.

Keep me far from wickedness and evil. Lord, don’t let their glamour entice me. Keep me rooted in Your word – help me to hide it in my heart. Help me, O gracious Father, to not just flee sin, but pursue purity.

I am Yours. You clothe me in righteousness. Watch over my way and keep me near. Help me not to falter, but open my heart to Your plan.

All this I ask and pray in the precious and holy name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Psalm 1:1-6

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Connect. Breathe. Shine.

Untitled

Hello, my dear friends. I know it has been forever since I last posted, and perhaps I’ve lost all my followers … but I want to try and keep up with blogging here.

Currently I’m trying to figure out life. Dealing with some health issues, struggling to get back into writing, looking for a church to get involved with/a group of Christian people my own age to “do life” with …

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Trying to help out more at home – keeping house and helping with homeschooling the kids. I do some odd jobs outside the home so I can keep up with car insurance payments and doctor bills, but don’t have an official job. I’m looking into volunteering in my town … I long for a purpose and a mission. For people to pour into. To mentor. To love on with God’s deep and overflowing love.

But sometimes I don’t feel qualified, equipped, wise, steady enough to minister to other people. Sometimes I feel so fragile and weak and anxious and unsure.

So. I think it is time for me to get well.

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To deal with health issues – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. And if I can’t keep up with the world and its expectations while I’m on my journey to healing, that’s okay. After all, I was never made to please man.

I think this is the season for me to just simply sit at Jesus’ feet as much as I can. Go on long walks and pour out my heart to Him (I haven’t been going on my prayer walks as much – especially now that it’s gotten colder – and, oh, how I miss those sweet, reassuring times), linger in His Word, read Christian Living books, do devotionals, listen to sermons and Christian inspirational videos …

I believe this is the season where I make more of an effort to find a church family to be a part of. I go to church every Sunday, but I haven’t found that fellowship yet. I keep thinking: Surely this isn’t how God meant it to be for me Isolated. Alone. No close friends (who are living nearby, in any case). No mentors. Struggling to walk this sometimes very difficult journey through life.

I love my family so much, and they can be a great source of comfort and help to me.

But I was meant to live in community.

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Not just me and my house and my family, every day, all day.

I keep thinking: I was meant to connect with people, right? To have deep relationships. To mentor and be mentored. To encourage and be encouraged. To love and be loved. To have people I can be real and honest with. People I can laugh with. Do Bible studies with.

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And I keep coming across books and sermons and people (such as my doctor) who say to me: You were created for community. You were not meant to do life alone. It’s important that you connect deeply with people, and connect with people your own age who are in the same season of life as you.

So I want to find friends. Other singles … and married couples, families, grandparents, children … who love and are seeking to follow Christ with all their heart.

And while I’m healing and finding community, I would like to be sharing my heart with anyone who happens to read this blog. Hopefully be ministering to you in some way – even with how broken and imperfect I am. And maybe volunteering at a soup kitchen or something. Giving to those who don’t have the material blessings I have – shelter, food, etc.

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Even as I’m trying to embrace this season of healing and possibly new beginnings, I’m seeing God at work. If I stop. Still my anxious heart. And those constant pressuring thoughts. And those dark whispers from the Deceiver … I can see that God has His hand over me. Is answering my prayers, subtly, perhaps, but surely. Is clearing out a path for me to walk on.

I worried and wondered and stressed about finding a job. I worried and wondered and stressed about finding church fellowship and friends. I worried and wondered and stressed about so many things. Then I stopped. And started to pray. Deep breath …

Lord, You are in control. You see me. You see my life. You see my fears. You see my needs. You see the needs of my friends and my family. You see when the sparrow falls and You clothe the lilies of the field. You say I should not worry about these things – You will provide. I want to let go of my anxiety, and need to be in control, and the overwhelming, terrifying pressure I feel to please people. I want to please You. I leave this all in Your hands, trusting that You will work out my life the way You see fit. You can get me a job. You will provide what I need if I start volunteering. You can bring me into a community. Why am I worried? The God of the Universe is in control of my life and is able to meet my needs and is faithful to hold my heart. I will pray about this. I will do what I can in response to Your promptings. And You will open up the way before me. Guide me.

And guess what? He has opened doors. Sometimes in little ways, that I might forget in a tidal wave of new and old anxieties until I write a blog post like this.

Friends messaged me. Acquaintances from my family’s homeschool group invited me to a church with a singles/college-age group. Pieces fell into place.

I now have a small weekly job that’s providing for some of the monetary needs I was worrying about. I attended the church I was invited to for the first time today and meet a bunch of lovely people who were very kind to me (and I plan on going back!)

I prayed. And more than once, it was a couple hours or a couple days later that someone messaged or texted or said something to me … And I was like, “Um … wow. Is this You, Lord?” I left it in His hands, and things started to happen.

Besides all that, God has been answering my prayers in other ways over the past few months. I found a great doctor. I’m getting to know the ladies in the Bible study group my mom and I go to better. Even as He’s caring for me, I’m being brought back to a place of brokenness and neediness where I know: It’s time to surrender, girl. Just put it all in His hands. Let my first and foremost desire be for Jesus. Let my heart hunger for His Word. Let my soul long to talk with Him. Let my body and heart and soul and mind – all that I am – be Yours so that I can love and serve You with abandon. Love and serve others with abandon.

So that I can feel joy. Love. Security. Freedom. Peace. Purpose. Identity. Hope.

I’m not there yet. But I’m on the journey. And my God is faithful.

Lady Grace ❤

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Delight In Him

Delight in Him

16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:16-17

I think this verse paints such a poignant picture of God’s tender love. He will rejoice over you. Quiet you with His love. Rejoice over you with singing.

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Children of the one true God, He not only loves you – He delights in you. He loves you not because you’re perfect or you have it all together. Let’s be honest: none of us are perfect or have it all together … and we never will, until we reach heaven! He loves us because we’re His. He redeemed us. He justified us. He adopted us. He made us heirs with Christ. He wants us.

15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Romans 8:15-17

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

Hebrews 2:10-13

 

That is such a hard concept to grasp. But whenever I get a glimpse of it, the love I feel is incredible. Unlike anything else I’ve experienced before. No one has ever loved me perfectly on this earth – and no one ever will. But God’s love for me is perfect. And when I can feel some of the depth of His amazing love, I am awed and overwhelmed. I am safe. I am whole. I am His.

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My prayer life has deepened over the past couple months, and I think this has helped me to feel God’s love on a more consistent basis. Because I’m spending more time with Him – seeking Him from my heart. Desiring to be closer to Him. And let me tell you, friends, I wouldn’t trade those sweet moments with Jesus Christ for anything.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62:8

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

It is an awesome thing to dwell in Jesus’ presence. It’s an incredible thing when we realize how God loves us. When we know we are loved, then we can love. We can love the Lord with all our heart, strength, and mind. We can love others the way God calls us to.

We can serve God with passion and abandon. Fears fade. Insecurities dwindle. Hope blossoms. Joy takes root. Peace envelopes. We can live. Finally. Fully. Abundantly. Ah, what a precious thing!

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

As I am finding this close relationship with Jesus Christ, I’ve come to a place where I don’t want anything to hinder that. I want everything in life to enhance my relationship with Him. I want every other relationship in my life to build on the one with Jesus – my first love. Never replace my relationship with Him. He is my one and only forever.

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

Psalm 42:1-2

Have I always felt this way? No. It’s actually only been the past couple years that I’ve been truly coming to this sort of turning point in my walk of faith. Do I still struggle? Absolutely. I have fears and doubts. I question and cry again and again. But what do I come back to? God’s love for me. His faithful and true love.

26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

Ah, Lord, what have I done to deserve Your love?

I have messed up so many times. Gone many steps back instead of forward so many times. I’ve given into fear more times than I ever care to count. I’ve doubted Him. Questioned Him. Asked Him again and again and again, “Do you love me, Lord? Do you really see me down here?”

But He has never given up on me. In my hardest, weakest moments, I believe He has cradled me in His arms. I am so unworthy. But so loved. And sometimes my soul overflows with passion and love when this knowledge truly hits me.

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 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.

Romans 8:37-39

This little video below I have watched many times. Mostly during times when I was in a very fearful and vulnerable place. And every time, when I see His hands holding the little lamb safely out of reach from the wolves, sobs bubble up in my throat. And when I see the guy running passionately toward Jesus Christ – straight into God’s loving arms – the tears overflow. My heart cries, every time, “I want that!”

Oh, I wanted to feel that love. That safety in Jesus’ arms. That knowledge that no matter what, I can trust that He has me. That love and passion for the Father God who gave His all for me. I wanted His love to fill me up and burst out in passion for Him!

“Hallelujah, all I have is Christ! Hallelujah, Jesus is my life!”

Praise the Lord, He has been bringing me to that place. Showing me His love. Sanctifying me. Growing me closer to Him. And I have never felt more loved.

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;

Psalm 103:11-13

Friends, we don’t always feel that love. We don’t always feel spiritual. We aren’t always able to banish the fear and questions.

But God is faithful and true through it all. Run to Him! Cling to Him. Spend time with Him. Read His words and pour out your heart to Him. Let Him change you and grow you and put His love deep in your heart. Only then will you know Him.

28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.

Psalm 73:28

He loves you!

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.

Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.

Psalm 25:1-7