“Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart” Book Talk!

Hello, my lovely readers! I’m so sorry that I haven’t been posting regularly. I’m not sure what happened … *looks bewildered*

Anyway, there is a new book releasing that I want you all to know about. Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality is Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal’s third book! Their ministry, @GirlDefined, has really impacted my life. I love their books. And I so truly want you to read them! These sisters are passionate about helping women find their identity in Christ and live out His design in freedom and joy! ❤

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Find Kristen and Bethany on their website, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Bethany, and her husband, Dav, also have a fun Youtube channel: Dav and Bethy.

So, this book is releasing the 30th of this month, April! I’m so excited! I’m praying for God to work mightily in the lives of the women who read this book. I’m part of the launch team, so I received an early copy of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart. It has been phenomenal! Look for my personal book review soon! And watch my unboxing video on Youtube!

If you pre-order by the 29th, you will receive some FREE, special bonuses such as an adult coloring book, an audiobook, and a private Q&A with the authors + their husbands!

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I hope you all will give this book a chance … even if you don’t normally read nonfiction. Kristen and Bethany help us to recognize God’s awesome design for sex and intimacy as laid out in the holy Scriptures. They show that you can truly find freedom from sexual sin! You can find forgiveness, new beginnings, and glorious beauty as you turn to Him and use your sexuality as God designed!

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Kristen and Bethany don’t shy away from the tough questions and shameful topics. They get to the heart of the issue.

Our brilliant, loving Creator designed us all as sexual beings, and obviously, His plan for that sexuality is the very best. We don’t have to live in sexual immorality. By His strength we can rise up to beautiful heights of purity and holiness and freedom. Our sexuality has very intricate purpose in our lives.

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So yes, I highly encourage you to read this book, fellow women! And read Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity and Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships, if you haven’t yet!

Read this book. Do a book study on it with your girl friends. We are all sexually broken. But we can find wholeness in Christ. Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart is simply, beautifully another tool to help us discover that … and the beauty of living out our sexuality God’s way.

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Book Review: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

My Personal Review ~ 4 stars ~

Reforming Marriage was a very interesting and thought-provoking book. I must say, I’ve not read many books on this subject that are as straightforward, non-apologetic, and radical in its views. Some of the points that Douglas Wilson presents in this book (and some his other books) seem a little rigid and maybe even coming from an unconsciously legalistic heart? But I’ve learned that Douglas Wilson is a writer for John Piper’s ministry (https://www.desiringgod.org/authors/d…) which makes me more comfortable reading his work because I really respect John Piper and his theology (all that I’ve heard so far). And these books were written quite awhile ago – in the 1990s.

So, while I don’t strictly agree with everything in this book, it was rather relieving and refreshing to hear a firm Christian voice on the topics of MARRIAGE // HEADSHIP // SUBMISSION // RESPECTING A HUSBAND // CHERISHING A WIFE // MASCULINITY // LEADERSHIP // MEN & WOMEN’S ROLES // BEING A HOMEMAKER // CHILDREN // BIRTH CONTROL // DIVORCE // and so forth.

I mentioned above that Douglas Wilson almost appeared to have a legalistic view in certain areas. But I also noticed, in more areas than not probably, that he expounded on grace, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

“But what about those who, by the time they read this book, have already done everything wrong? They are now on their third marriage and are troubled by guilt. The good news is that God picks us up where we are, not where we should have been. There is always forgiveness in Christ. Those in such a situation should confess the sin, accept God’s forgiveness by faith, and begin to live in submission to the Word of God.” [Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

Some things he said about the woman’s role and such made me squirm a little inside. But in the same breath, his overall presentation of marriage is much more attractive than the modern marriages I see all around me! Small errors in judgement or not, Douglas Wilson’s view of marriage seems to be much more Biblical than most of the views on marriage in the general church today. All in all, Reforming Marriage made the passion for God’s design burn brighter in me! Let’s start really digging into the Word and seeing and living out God’s original design for womanhood, manhood, marriage, sexuality, parenting, and life in general!

The home is such a central part of life. We can see in our world today that with the tearing down of the family comes the eventual destruction of everything good, peaceful, and pure. And, from God’s original design, man was created as the head of the household. So he is responsible for the home, and for the beauty or for the darkness that comes from it.
Reforming Marriage really hit hard on the man’s responsibility as head of the home and spiritual leader. And it was very intriguing and eye-opening. The husband has a massive responsibility, and so I wouldn’t take marriage lightly! Whether he likes it or not, he is the head. And whether women want to admit it or not, we want our men to lead! Women don’t generally respect a man who doesn’t lead, protect, and provide … because that is what he was designed for! And she was designed to respond and to support.

“A woman should marry a man she respects, and a man should marry a woman he is willing to love and lead with a servant’s heart.” [Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

I really love the idea of God giving man a task, and then bringing a woman to him to help him complete that task (Genesis 2). I pray that I can be a supporting, encouraging, joyfully Biblical wife someday! What a unique and beautiful design! The idea of a godly man who joyfully and firmly leads, protects, and provides for his wife … who regularly studies Scripture and pursues God individually and with his wife … who answers her theology questions and points her to Christ … who cherishes her and takes his job of raising their children seriously … That is incredible! We need men to rise up and be masculine, hard-working, gentle, godly, assertive, kind, strong, Christ-like men.

“The husband must make a conscious decision to utilize his strength for her protection and benefit, and not for his own. He can only do that in imitation of Christ. In the Christian family, the way to an understanding of true authority is through service.” [Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

To wrap it up, on a whole, I really enjoyed reading Reforming Marriage. Some parts were definitely better than others, and I have my questions and doubts concerning some of the views. But still, I gleaned a lot of helpful information and incredible insight, and like the idea of reading this book with my husband should I marry someday.

I recommend you read with an open mind, and always lining up what’s said against what the Bible says! As with all Christian Living books, don’t take everything as gospel-truth. The Bible alone is the Holy Word of God. But we can definitely gain some wisdom from books from fellow believers.

Who Does God Say I Am?

In a world of confusion, comparison, insecurity, identity crisis, and anxiety, it is easy to fall prey to the lie that we are not enough. Not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Not independent enough. Not aggressive enough. Not busy enough. Not enough.

It is easy to become down on oneself and feel the strain of desperately trying to please everyone and earn their love and respect.

It can be easy to feel unwanted and unqualified, hopeless and alone.

This burden is extremely heavy to bear. It’s stifling and suffocating and wounding.

But the truth is, we were never meant to look to the world and ask: “Who am I?” We were always meant to look to our immortal and all-wise Creator and ask humbly and trustfully: “Who am I?”

If we look to His precious Word, this is what we find:

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He (Jesus) says that He loves me as His Father loves Him. I am fully and deeply loved.

John 15:9

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

Zephaniah 3:17

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.”

Romans 5:5

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

John 3:16

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

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He says I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” – that His work in making me is “marvelous”. I am beautiful.

Psalm 139:14

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

Song of Solomon 4:7

You are all fair, my love,
And there is no spot in you.

Psalm 144:12

12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth;
That our daughters may be as pillars,
Sculptured in palace style;

Isaiah 44:24

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;

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***

He says that there is “now no condemnation for me” and I will not be put to shame. I can walk in confidence.

Romans 8:1-4

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the SpiritFor the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Psalm 34:5-7

They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

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***

He says I am set high above the Enemy’s schemes and lies, and have His Holy Spirit within me. I have power.

Ephesians 1:19-21

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

1 John 2:20

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

Philippians 4:11-13

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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*** 

He says that He calls me His child and He is my everlasting Father. I am His cherished daughter.

1 John 3:1

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Deuteronomy 33:27

27 The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;

2 Corinthians 6:18

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

Romans 8:15-17

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.

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He says not to fear – that I can be fully confident in my trust of Him because He has overcome the world, and I belong to Him. I can be fearless.

Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Isaiah 43:1

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

Psalm 27:1

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

John 16:33

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

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He says I am forgiven and made clean through faith in Christ Jesus. I am pure.

Psalm 51:7

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Ephesians 1:4

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Colossians 1:22

yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 

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He says I am a temple of God – chosen and special – and and I am His workmanship. I’m secure and can walk with my head held high. I am valuable and worthy of respect.

1 Corinthians 3:16

16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people,

Matthew 10:29-31

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

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.

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He says that nothing can snatch me from His hand, and that He will present me blameless on Judgement Day. I am saved.

John 10:27-30

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

Jude 1:24

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

Romans 10:8-13

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

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He says He knows my days, sees when I sit and when I rise up, and delights in guiding all my steps! I am seen and cared for.

Luke 12:22-32

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Psalm 103:13-14

13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 37:23-24

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.

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He says that my design as a female is good. My femininity is beautiful and filled with purpose.

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:18 & 21-24

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

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Proverbs 31:25 & 29-31

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,

29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

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He says I am an important part of the Body. My personality, gifts, and passions are unique and needed.

1 Corinthians 12:15-26

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Romans 12:4-8

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

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He says He knew me before I was born and that I am fully known. He understands me better than I understand myself.

Jeremiah 1:5

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

1 Corinthians 13:12

Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Isaiah 49:15-16

15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.

Psalm 71:6

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.

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The Joy of His Return

Hello, my friends! How’s life been for you all?

It’s been a tad stressful for me … I’ve been adding some different things to my schedule; getting new information and options concerning my health issues; applying for jobs; and this past week I’ve been in charge of keeping the house in order, bringing the kids to homeschool group, and all such things because my mom went on a little vacation. There have been some … moments … but it’s all good. 😉

Philippians 1:21

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

Through the busyness and the new opportunities and slightly stressful experiences, I found out that I really like the band, Unspoken. And even more so, I love their song: Open the Clouds.

the joy of His return

What is it about this song? I’m not really sure. The beat has me dancing around the house. The words fill me with a happiness and energy that I can’t always claim. The line, “No one knows when the day will come, all we know is it won’t be long” sends chills over my body. Good chills. 🙂

I’ve shared on here before about my fear of the unknown. My trepidation when it comes to thoughts of heaven and eternity. I’m definitely not one for “end times” talk, conspiracy theories, and eerie proclamations about how the apocalypse is upon us! The doom and gloom and hopeless air of it all + my struggle with trusting the future into God’s hands has me going out of my way to avoid that kind of talk.

However, this song brings Jesus’ return to me in a different light. It’s bursting with joy and anticipation. It’s overflowing with trust. It touches something deep inside my soul and pretty soon I’m dancing and my heart is whispering in childlike hope, “I can’t wait for that day. I can’t wait to be with my Jesus.”

I am a princess. And someday my awesome King will return for me and bring me home. And there will be no more anxiety clutching at my heart. No more tears welling up from the pain inside. No more sorrow and emptiness I can’t understand. There will be no more waiting. No more struggle. No more worries. No more fear and depression. No more separation. No more death. No more loss. No more seeing evil and rebellion and aching for it to stop. No more identity crisis. No more rejection. No more confusion. No more long nights of laying awake – tossing and turning – trying to figure out and organize everything in my mind.

Revelation 21:1-7

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

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

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

And the very best … we will get to be with Him always and forever. Jesus Christ. Father God. Holy Spirit.

I don’t know how it’s all going to come about, but I like to imagine. After the sky splits and we see our Messiah, Jesus Christ, coming down to retrieve us. After every knee bows and every tongue confesses. Perhaps I will fall down before Him, in awe. Then perhaps He will raise me up. Lift my chin to look into His eyes – filled with unfathomable, never-ending love. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Welcome home, Daughter.” And He will pull me close into His all-encompassing embrace.

And I will be complete.

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 25:23

‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

This thought is so very amazing, my mind almost can’t wrap around the magnificent beauty of it. On second thought, my mind can’t comprehend it. It is too good!

1 John 3:1

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!

Want to hear another wonderful thing, friends? While we wait for this marvelous day, we don’t have to continue going in frustrating circles and wallowing in our humanness and despair.

Even though Jesus hasn’t come a second time yet, the kingdom of God is here. And we can chose to be a part of it as His children. We can chose to seek first His kingdom every day and live our earthly lives to their fullest!

Matthew 6:33

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

Luke 17:20-21

20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Philippians 1:9-11

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Matthew 16:17-19

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

We can live out the purpose God has placed in our hearts. Use our gifts and passions for His glory. Honor His name in all we do, even the mundane tasks. Champion behind His perfect design. Walk in His love.

Philippians 1:27

27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

So, my sisters and brothers in Christ …

  • Know & rejoice in your identity as God’s child.
  • Fall in love with Jesus Christ and watch your anticipation for His return grow!
  • And live abundantly in His kingdom here on earth for as long as He has you here!

Love you all!

❤ Lady Grace

Here in the Family there’s always room for more
A welcome from the King and an open door
Sit at the table and be satisfied
You been sent an invitation, but you gotta reply

The King is coming!”

~ Open the Clouds by Unspoken ~

Paths and Provisions

Good morning, beautiful readers!

I’m going to share a little bit of my heart with you today. To be honest, this isn’t the easiest thing to share. It’s something that’s caused me no small amount of shame, anxiety, insecurity, and troubled thoughts. But it’s been on my mind a lot lately … so I thought perhaps it was God prompting me to share.

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.

This post is going to be about work, money, jobs, independence, responsibility, and trusting God to provide. That sort of thing.

paths and provisions(picture found on pixabay.com)

I never was very career-minded. In fact, I tend to be a dreamer – I believe it’s part of my personality as an INFJ. From a young age, I loved reading and writing—all things books, really—and by ten-years-old, decided that I wanted to be a published author when I grew up. So I pursued writing. I wrote all the time. I filled up numerous journals and notebooks, and even took to typing out my stories and thoughts on the computer. I had stacks and stacks of handwritten stories and many documents saved onto the computer.

I did some babysitting here and there once I turned twelve. At around fifteen-years-old, I got a sort-of summer nanny job. Once I week I took care of a little baby (perhaps six months old?) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

baby-623417_1920(found on pixabay.com)

It was around that time that my mom, my siblings, and I started cleaning our church once a week. We did that for a couple years.

At sixteen, I got my first “real” job. It was at Dairy Queen. They needed good workers, someone from my youth group recommended me, and so I was like, “Sure, why not? It’s probably a good time to start working part-time.” I hadn’t been actively searching for a job, but I was eager enough to accept the position.

Working at a fast-food restaurant turned out to be a rather intimidating experience for shy, insecure, introverted, teenage me. My voice was always too soft, even though I felt like I was shouting. All the details I was expected to learn overwhelmed me (though I actually caught on quickly enough). I felt uncomfortable wearing the required black slacks and stuffing my thick, waist-length hair up beneath a baseball cap. But, I did learn some things! And for that, I am thankful. It wasn’t horrible, but it was very stressful for me. Three mornings a week I skipped breakfast (because my stomach hurt from anxiety/stress) and hurried off to work. Around lunch time, I would start feeling tired and dragging, so I’d reluctantly drink a glass of soda (I’m kind of a health nut, so I disliked the idea of drinking a sugary drink three times a week!). Then I’d get home, probably eat a late lunch, and sit down and put my feet up because my legs and feet ached so badly. And then do some schoolwork.

I cleaned bathrooms (which caused some serious anxiety for my germ-freak self, especially at that time, ha!), spilled a strawberry sundae on my shirt when I was carrying two full trays into the dining area, fumbled through drive-through duty for the first time when the manager abruptly put the headset on me, and messed up a few times as I went through the general learning process of doing something new. I blushed and stuttered when boys flirted with me now and then. I got yelled at and grumbled at a few times, and my super-sensitive self blinked back tears and was sure my manager and the restaurant owner rather resented me.

Perhaps everyone feels this way, but my first job was really stressful for me! Not because it was actually so horrible, but because every little thing seemed magnified and overwhelming in my mind.

I only worked there about three and half months before turning in my notice so I could go live in my “home state” (place I was born) with my relatives for a month, and then just put all my focus back on school work and writing.

coffee-2306471_1920(found on pixabay.com)

So really … that was my only official job.

My family moved out of state the next year (2014). About a year later, July of 2015 (I think), I moved back for a couple months with my older brother. Then moved back in with my family. Then the next year, April 2016, my older brother and I drove to my “home state” and I ended up staying there for 9-ish months.

I’d planned to stay permanently, but just wasn’t really finding my place there. And I missed my family. Especially when some of my six younger siblings would write me letters saying how much they missed me, and how I was the best big sister, and how they wished I would come home. It nearly wrenched my heart out, haha! My anxiety had already worsened in the last couple years of moving around, but that year it was pretty bad and I also struggled with some depression. It definitely wasn’t all bad, though! My aunt & uncle, grandparents, and cousins loved on me, and I got to meet new people and experience neat things. But when my older brother and I flew back home in January 2017 for a late family Christmas, I ended up staying. My parents bought my brother and I plane tickets out there for my mom’s Christmas present (*smiles*), but they never bought me a return ticket like they said they would, so I’ll just blame it on that, haha. Summer of 2017 was spent, almost to the very last hour, remodeling the house my parents bought and everything having to do with that.

Anyway. Since my brief time at Dairy Queen, I’ve written up a resume, filled out many applications, gone to multiple interviews, and almost got at least three different jobs (two of them were at libraries! *smiles*). For various reasons, I didn’t end up getting them.

And now I’m here. Twenty-one. No job. No car. Unsure of where my path is winding.

Luke 12:6-7

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

I did buy a car while I was living in my “home state”. But it was not fit to drive the many miles home, so I have it no longer. And I’ve been blessed with many babysitting and cleaning jobs during my “unemployed” years!

Nevertheless, I feel this sense of shame and this feeling that I’m wrong. I feel both “behind” in life, and trapped because I didn’t get started at the “right time”. Sometimes it feels like I’m struggling to keep my head above the waves of doubt, fear, and a lack of confidence.

…I never gave much thought to jobs and careers. (Though I did take a couple college classes in my last year of high school.) I was too busy thinking other deep thoughts (haha). I did expect to get a job. But I’m a dreamer, and my head and heart were filled with ideas and plans and passions for writing novels, starting blogs, doing Bible studies, connecting deeply with people, touching lives, and impacting the world. Not to mention, I’d always expected to get married young. My mom had. My grandmother had. My great-grandmother had. Most of my friends and cousins got married between the ages of eighteen to twenty-one-years-old.

flower-3122500_1920(found on pixabay.com)

So in all my plans and ponderings, I’d seen myself being married at eighteen or nineteen. At least by twenty-one! (Ha!) I saw myself loving and serving my husband and raising children with him to know the Lord. I saw myself running my household—cooking, cleaning, baking, homeschooling, etc.—and writing stories as an adored hobby. And sharing my book collection with other avid readers. To this day, I still often picture myself doing these things, and also keeping up this blog and opening up my home to people – making meals for friends and starting Bible studies for teens and single adults. I dream of joyfully keeping a home and ministering to people from it.

Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

Proverbs 31:10-13, 15, 17, 20-22, & 24-31

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.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.

And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Titus 2:4-5

that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands,

1 Corinthians 11:3

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

That’s obviously not to be. Not right now, anyway. I’m in a different season of life right now. And I struggle to figure it out! I don’t believe my dreams were bad or wrong, and I still have hope for them! But right now, I have to find out how to live as I should as a Christian, unmarried adult woman in America.

Psalm 84:3-5

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. Selah

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

 

Should I have done things differently? Should I have stifled my dreams? Should I have tried harder to find jobs? Not moved around so much (as an adult, that is. I didn’t have much of a choice when my family moved!)?

I don’t know. People make me feel like I should have, like I did something wrong. Like I’m lazy and irresponsible and immature.

And it’s hard. It’s hard to think of people thinking badly of me. It causes all sorts of anxiety. (Yes, I struggle with insecurity, being a people-pleaser, and a lack of confidence. You probably know that if you’ve read this blog! I’m not trying to whine, just be honest. And I’m learning! God is teaching me to find my confidence in Him.)

Have I done things wrong? Yes. Am I imperfect? Without a doubt. Have I not managed my time wisely some years? Absolutely. Could I have done things differently? Probably so.

But I did what I did.

That’s what happened.

That’s how life went.

And God used all those years to teach and grow me, and do things in my life and the lives of those around me.

It’s not wasted.

Even if I made mistakes and messed things up and took forever to learn certain lessons … He was with me even then. He was working in my life.

The past is the past.

I can’t change it.

It may or may not have put me “behind” in this life as I learn more of what it means to live as an adult.

But, do I trust God? Do I trust Him to provide me with a job, and a car, and a ministry, and everything I need in His timing?

Philippians 4:19

19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Do I trust that He is able, even if I haven’t been technically employed for a long while? Do I trust that He can redeem past mistakes and errors?

Joel 2:25-27

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

Do I trust that He can use, is using, me now, even while I don’t have a job?

Philippians 4:10-13

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Do I trust Him, even when people talk negatively about me?

Even when people make me feel worthless and stupid?

Make me feel like I’m unwanted and not belonging anywhere?

They don’t know my story. That don’t know the anxiety and depression and other health issues I’ve dealt with, and how that’s hindered me. They don’t know my heart. They don’t know that I desire and I’m trying to love and serve God and people in the ways I know best! They don’t know how I strive to fill my days with some sort of purpose … cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, helping out with the children, seeking God in prayer and His Word, helping a little with teaching school, and writing these blog posts. Driving the older kids places. Editing my stories. Grocery shopping. Organizing and sorting through things. Trying to encourage people and start being a mentor-of-sorts to my younger sisters.

Psalm 84:10-12

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12 Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

 

I have’t always done well. I haven’t always strove to have a helpful and serving attitude toward my family. I haven’t always been thankful. I haven’t always tried my best and done everything as unto the Lord.

I know there are people who deal with anxiety, depression, different health issues, and all sorts of things and still have done better than me in life. They’ve had their steady job for years. They have a car. They have a house. They know where they’re going in life.

I’m not trying to justify everything about myself, and my life, and my choices. I think I tend to try to paint everything in as positive a light as possible, perhaps because I hope there will be someone out there who believes in me. I list out all these things and ramble on so, maybe because I’m trying to convince myself that I’m okay.

poppy-3137588_1920(found on pixabay.com)

That I haven’t ruined my life. That I’m not a failure.

But I can’t find that confidence in other people. And I certainly can’t find it in myself.

2 Corinthians 10:7

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.

I must find it in God.

I can only find it in God.

Because, you know what? Loved by Him is my identity. And He is worthy of my trust. He is so able to work everything out for His glory and my good. He can redeem my past mistakes. He is still working on me, and He does not forsake me. Sometimes I look back and think, “Oh my, I’m making this ever a process!” But He is ever faithful! Sanctification is a process! ❤

Romans 8:8

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

And I am an individual person with my own, unique story. I need to stop comparing. Stop trying to measure up. Stop trying to take everything into my hands and think I have to control and take care of it all.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

My faithful Provider is taking care of me.

Do I deserve it? Of course not. But He chose me. He wants me. He delights in me. Because I’m His daughter now. And I need to hold onto faith that He will lead me on the path that He has for me and provide for me along the way. I need to grow in faith that He will give me His strength to take the steps needed, even when I’m anxious, tired, not feeling well, or worried I’ll lose my purpose and not be impacting people for His kingdom if I work at a fast-food restaurant serving people unhealthy food, (haha, I seriously worry about this all the time. I have the INFJ personality, and I try to find purpose and meaning in EVERYTHING. It can be exhausting, yes.)

So, He can do ANYTHING! He can do things beyond my wildest dreams and hopes! He uses MY WEAKNESS to display HIS STRENGTH. He has been pursuing me and taking care of me since the beginning of my life – since before!

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

I trust Him.

My friends, I am so imperfect! But my God is so perfect. Look to Him, not me. And I hope, if you can relate to me in this, that this post was an encouragement to you and blessed your heart. God loves you, precious soul. He’s taking care of you. You can trust Him with your life. Every detail. Surrender your plans and let Him lead.

2 Corinthians 9:10-15

10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Much love,

Lady Grace ❤

Philippians 4:1

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

 

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! 😉

flower-3139424_1920(picture found on pixabay.com)

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.

20151010_125038_HDR(2015)

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)

DSC_0210(2016)

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? ❤

Isolation or Worship?

isolation-or-worship

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

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

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

So what does a woman do in those situations?

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

Worship.

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

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

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

Hebrews 4:16

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

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

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

Here’s another tip …

Community.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then … worship.

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

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

Romans 12:12

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

Galatians 5:22

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

Philippians 4:4-8

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t isolate yourself.

Have a prayer time.

Worship.

Heal & be at Peace

Psalm 103:1-6 & 11-18

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

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

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

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