Thursday, February 28, 2019

God will help you fulfill your plan!

"I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you. For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control. So never be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor be embarrassed over my imprisonment, but overcome every evil by the revelation of the power of God!" -2 Timothy 1:6-8 TPT

The middle part of this verse is a verse many Christians know: God hasn't given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. It's interesting to see this in context. This was a letter that Paul wrote to Timothy, a younger man serving the Lord. And there must have been something Timothy was facing that caused him to be intimidated by his gifting. Maybe he didn't think he was good enough. Maybe he didn't think he had the ability to handle it, but Paul told him that his gift and ability was from God and it was enough. Timothy's job was to recognize he didn't need to act out of fear. God would supply Him with the power, love, and self-control that he needed to accomplish the task for him.

That means, God has called you to accomplish big things... but you don't have to be afraid of them. You will be able to accomplish them when you rely on God!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

prayers for today

Praying today the prayers Paul prayed in Ephesians 1... You can too! Below is adapted from NLT, 17-20.

Lord, please grant unto [NAME] spiritual wisdom and insight so that they can grow in their knowledge of God.

Lord, I ask that [NAME'S] heart would be flooded with light so that they can understand the confident hope You have given to those You have called. Let [NAME] begin to glimpse how vast and immeasurable is their rich and glorious inheritance You have given to them.

I also ask that [NAME] would understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. Let them begin to glimpse and understand that the power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in them. That same mighty power seated Jesus in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. It's beyond our imagination and comprehension. Let us begin to see that and know that You can change situations that are beyond our control.

Work, Lord, in their hearts! Open their eyes to see You and let Your goodness truly be seen. In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

a busy day

Well, today was a busy day! We had plans that ended up keeping us busy from morning to night... well, it was midday plans, but midday plans with children start when you make them breakfast earlier than planned, pack snacks and projects for midday entertainment, get everyone dressed for your venture, and then leave early to account for traffic! Then you grab food on the way home, play for a bit, get food before bed and get them to bed... and then you breathe!!

All of that meant my work was hurried in the morning too, so I missed my early morning blog... but better late than never, right?

In fact, that's something I've thought about lately. Quitting is the end. You can't win if you quit. But if you keep going. If you keep trying. If you keep putting yourself back out there, you can get the win.

That's encouraging.

Hopelessness doesn't have to be the end... it's a feeling for a season. Keep going... keep going... keep going. Don't give hopelessness the win. Search for hope. Find hope. Find a sliver of hope and know God is on your side. He will help you pull through!

Monday, February 25, 2019

a new look at Psalm 91

I grew up listening to Psalm 91 in the KJV ... so it's fun that the new Bible translation the Passion translation has come out and provides a new perspectivej!

Now, I understand that the Passion translation is more of a paragraph translation and presenting the ideas of Scripture, as the Message Bible does, rather than a literal word to word translation. With this in mind, I don't read the Passion to get theological correctness as much as a different look at what the Scripture is talking about.

Listen to Psalm 91:1-2 in the KJV

"He that dwelleth 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 will I trust."

I love that... and then look at how the Passion can add to the understanding of this verse.

"When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High. He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence."

So good!

The key to God being your hope and staying hidden in the strength of God is sitting under God's shadow. I think that means taking time to be with Him and working on your relationship with Him. You're hidden there because people won't necessarily see you spending time investing in your relationship with Him. They can see the results of your life though! And we glorify God when He becomes our strength and shelter!


Sunday, February 24, 2019

five things to be thankful for!

What are you thankful for today? 

It's Sunday! So here are five things I'm thankful for. 

1. Toys - yes, these get overwhelming, and we don't always have a place for them and/or they end up in the middle of the floor, but I am grateful for fun toys that the kids can enjoy time and again. I'm always looking for new ways to organize!! 

2. Fun desserts! For homeschool, we are trying foods from different countries. Last night we tried pavlova. It is a meringue with whipped cream and fruit on top. A nice light dessert. A little over a cup of sugar and eggs, so it's not super bad for you. I think there are keto/sugar-free versions as well! 

3. Snow! Yes, I said it. Snow. It's been record-breaking amounts of snow this year, but it's been a long time since we have gotten this much snow, and looking on the bright side, I kinda like it. Glad the kids are getting a good dose of snow and all that can be done with tons of snow. It's better than brown grass and boring landscapes when it is wintry and cold but not snowy. I like to have a reason for the coldness! 

4. YouTube - From how-to videos to kids songs, I do appreciate the wealth of videos you can get online! 

5. Speaking of... Numberblocks! These are a UK show that has clips on YouTube. It's a video about numbers and a great way for kiddos to learn about numbers, how to subtract, multiply, and add. I'm grateful for it because the kids have learned a lot about math already without much teaching from me. They are learning from the videos! I can just add to what they have already learned or explain it a little more fully. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

inclusive.

God is inclusive.

Acts 2:21 says that "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

That's pretty simple.

It's easy to complicate this and say, "Well, I've sinned. I'm not good enough."

But the truth is, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Period.

Don't overcomplicate God's love and acceptance.

Of course, this doesn't mean He tolerates sin. Sin shouldn't stay in our lives. As we grow closer to the Lord and keep calling on His name, change should happen... but then come back to this truth. everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Friday, February 22, 2019

don't give up!

Today's verse is one I have been thinking about for a while. I haven't read it yet in the Passion translation, so that's fun!

"And don't allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you've planted is coming." -Galatians 6:9 TPT

Don't give up!

One of the best ways I've found that help me is not only reading Scripture, but keeping my mind on the future, not the past. The past can get you messed up if you only remember the junky things that have happened. Focusing on the future keeps you dreaming about impossibilities. It's a much better and more joy-filled way to live!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

what about anger?

"But don’t let the passion of your emotions lead you to sin! Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not for even a day." -Ephesians 4:26

Sometimes people think anger helps a situation. They feel like it hurts the person they are angry at... however, the anger only hurts themselves. Holding onto anger may feel productive, but it only holds you back.

You can be angry. Jesus was angry. Using that anger to propel you forward is possible. Don't hold onto it... that's key! Be angry, but don't let it control you or fuel revenge. You can be angry, but make a plan and let go of it. Your plan may be to come to peace with something or proactively do something, but it should be productive for you and the people involved.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

overlook offense

"Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!" -Proverbs 17:9 Msg.

A lot of people are willing to hold onto grudges so they justify their feelings or make sure they are treated right. They disregard the friendship or relationship as a result. However, overlooking offenses holds up others above your own self, and this is the better path.

We make mistakes just as other people do, so give both you and others grace. That means you will need to patient as other people make mistakes... and it means you will need to be patient with your own self. Extending grace in both directions is wise!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

what are your habits?

Whoops!

My timing was off today! I've posted every day this year, but didn't remember it this morning because I decided to do something out of my routine. I decided to eat breakfast early (I was hungry!), and as a result, I didn't remember to post. :-)

That shows me two things:

1. We are creatures of habit! Our routine because instinct... so it's always good to reevaluate what our habits are and make sure that they are leading us in the path that we want.

2. Keep going, even if you miss it! I missed blogging this morning, but I won't let that stop me! In the same way, keep pursuing the habits you want in your life, even if you miss it. Read your Bible every day. Pray. Do what draws you closer to God... and if you miss a day, pick it up the next day!

Creating consistent habits is work, but it pays off!

Monday, February 18, 2019

God loves us!

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39 KJV

I love this!

This is similar to one of my "go-to" prayers for people... that they would know the breadth, length, depth, and height of God's love for them. (Eph. 3:19) Nothing can separate us from that love.

By the way, I memorized this verse using a song... when I was little! I highly recommend that singing is a great way to remember Scripture.

Rizers is our favorite family song choice! I find them on YouTube. Seeds family worship is another. Honestly, one way my kiddos know certain Scriptures is because I type in a Scripture verse on YouTube and include "kids song" at the end and then we listen to ones that show up and find a favorite!

Memorizing Scripture is well worth it because it can rise up in your mind when you need it the most. And when it does, it brings me peace... for the Word is powerful and at work!

Here is how we found out about the Rizers and a great way to learn John 3:16!




Sunday, February 17, 2019

five things I'm thankful for today

It's Sunday, so here's what I am thankful for...


1. Hot showers ... Not everyone gets them so I am glad I do!

2. Church ... Glad for a chance to meet with others who believe in Jesus as I do!

3. Comfortable clothes ... Need I say more?

4. Instant pots ... They make lunch easier!

5. My parents ... They have done so much for me and my family!


What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

a favorite Scripture

Here's a verse I remember when I need to calm down... God is with me! He can shepherd me through life and bring rest to my soul! So grateful.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

"Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever."

Psalm 23 NLT


Friday, February 15, 2019

we reflect God's love

"This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." -1 John 4:10 NLT

Our love should reflect God's love for us. When we don't know how to love people, we can look to His example. If He can be constant in patience and kindness for us, He can give us the grace and ability to be constant in patience and kindness for others!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

happy valentine's day!

Today we celebrate relationships and love.

Makes me grateful for my family.



My husband, Erik, has taught me what love is. Movies paint a picture that love is romance, but love is a foundation. Love is the decision to care for another person through every part of life.

After marriage, the ups and downs of life hits - the boring parts, the exciting ones. The sad and the happy ones... and through it all, I have always known that Erik and I have chosen to love each other. 

That's a wonderful constant. 

And you know who helps me love him? God... because the choice of love in marriage is a reflection of God's choice to love us without condition. 

I'm very grateful ... and happy Valentine's to my favorite person and our three favorite littles! You make life wonderful and you are God's gifts to me. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

the power of love

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -John 3:16 KJV

Love changes people. Well, let me be more specific... agape love - unconditional love - changes people. That type of love has patience when you don't want to be patient, kindness when you are annoyed, and care when concern has left.

This type of love is almost impossible for us to do on our own... but when we turn over our thoughts and ways to God, He can help us be patient and kind and loving beyond what we can do on our own!

I'm so grateful for this is the type of love that God has and according to the apostle Paul, that type of love never fails. That means it is always at work, even when you can't see it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

it's possible!

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"
-Matthew 19:26 NIV

You know what I love about this verse? That God makes things possible. Everything has the potential to change. You don't have to figure out the path to that change. You just have to know that it can happen!

I love that!

Monday, February 11, 2019

creation speaks

Watching creation is amazing. It just goes and goes and goes and is and is and is.... No matter what humanity does around it, the caves, the canyons, and the rivers will be there. They walk through seasons of life just like we do - rainy season, winter, fall, dry season. As you consider both the complexity and the simplicity of nature, I think you see a constant reminder that God is present.

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the seainform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)

Jesus talks about creation in Matthew 6. He says, "Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?" (verse 26).

The birds go through winter when food is hard to find and instinctively know how to survive. They don't need to worry about it; they just do it.

I think God wants us to be the same way. He has built within us an instinct on how to "find food in the winter" and survive in the heat of the summer. He walks us through life... we just have to trust Him! Our worries can get in the way because we think we know better and we follow our worries over our God-given instincts. So a goal in life is learning to not trust our worries, but follow our prayers.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

put on God's armor!

"Put on all the armour that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks." Eph. 6:11 GNB

Oooh, I don't often use the GNB Bible, so it's fun to see this verse! The devil has a "bag of tricks" and here's how we combat them:

1. Helmet of salvation. (Accept Jesus and make Him a part of your life... then you start to mentally picture life through this lens of salvation.)

2. Breastplate of righteousness. (Because of Jesus, we have right standing with God.)

3. Belt of truth. (God's Word has truth. Stand on God's Word. It keeps all things together just like the belt holds things up!)

4. Shield of faith. (When we are uncertain about life, faith is our shield! We can believe in the hope that God is greater than what we face!)

5. Sword of the Spirit. (Our one offensive weapon is the sword, which is God's Word. Speak it! Use it!)

6. Gospel shoes of peace. (We bring God's Word to others in peace!)

Listen to how the Message Bible puts it: "Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon."

BTW, I just remembered it's five-fact Sunday. Here's what I'm thankful for today.

1. Warm weather! Yes, I'm enjoying warm weather today. So grateful!
2. Time to not think about anything. Everyone needs rest!
3. Pajamas. Isn't it nice to get into comfy clothes for bed?
4. Scripture. It's nice to have something filled with good things to think about!. Very helpful in this world of crazy things.
5. Conservatives in Congress. Very grateful we have some people who are still willing to stand up for truth, morality, and principles!


Saturday, February 9, 2019

today's top five

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39 NLT

Nothing you do can make God stop loving you. Isn't that crazy? God isn't just "in love" with you. He loves you. He won't fall out of love with you. He likes you too! Now, He doesn't like everything that you and I do. Love and approval are not equal... but He always, always, loves us. 

I'm so grateful. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

praying for other people

Good morning!

Today my husband is in need of healing. So, here are some Scriptures I am meditating on as I pray!

Matthew 19:26 ESV
"But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"

James 5:16 TPT
"...tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!"

"Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything." -Mark 11:22-24 Msg.


It's easy to get caught up in thinking that this hasn't happened in the past, so prayer doesn't work... but that's not the case! We can't see God at work... and our job isn't to see Him move. Our job is to believe. Our job is to picture the possibility that He can move impossibilities.

Lord, thank You for the possibility that the sickness facing my husband right now doesn't have to stay. Thank you that You are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. You can heal my husband. Restore Him right now to the full health that you always intended him to live from. Bring wholeness to his body, soul, and spirit. Though the mountain we face seems big, I thank you that you are bigger, greater, and stronger.

I pray that he would be well now, in Jesus' name. That this mountain of impossibility will move and be thrown into the sea, in Jesus' name... and for anyone who is reading this and needs to pray for other people, touch their situations too. Bring full restoration, body, soul, and spirit, in Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

a willing heart

"I just want to obey all you ask of me. So teach me, Lord, for you are my God. Your gracious Spirit is all I need, so lead me on good paths that are pleasing to you, my one and only God!" -Psalm 143:10 TPT



The daily hum of life can keep us so occupied that we forget that our direction for each day isn't necessarily coming from us. God wants it to come from Him. He has plans for us that He'd like us to fulfill. Remembering to connect with Him throughout each day is important. 

For me, having a willing heart has to do a lot with this. Keeping my heart turned toward Him helps me keep my willingness to follow in that direction as well. Those little nudges throughout each day, then, I can more easily recognize when they are Him.

What do you do to check in with the Lord each day? Putting down the phone and truly giving moments to God isn't always easy because technology can so easily capture our attention... but it is worth it! Let Him direct your steps!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

no impossibilities

So today's verse on the Bible app is one I've been trying to wrap my head around for a while.

"Looking straight into their eyes, Jesus replied, 'Humanly speaking, no one, because no one can save himself. But what seems impossible to you is never impossible to God!'" -Matt. 19:26 TPT


Nothing is impossible with God. Every situation is possible. There's a way through or around every situation we face. What?!?

Trying to wrap my head around that is crazy! Sometimes I think, "Well, that person's free will is involved." Well, God knows how to work through what seems impossible, even if that means another person. He knows how to do it in a way that respects their free will and just softens their hearts and gradually draw them in a God-honoring direction.

Patience is key. Impossibilities (and people!) don't change overnight... so don't give up! God is on the move, whether or not you can see Him. Keep praying for that impossibility to change and thinking about the possibility it could become... for it can! All things are possible with Him!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

who is God?

"For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." -Psalm 33:4-5 KJV


I just love this verse! It brings comfort to me. God's Word is right. Granted, we don't always interpret it perfectly, but keep trying, keep going, keep asking God for understanding! He will bring it as you need it.

Another thing I've learned is that questions are okay. Questions help you bridge the gap to a stronger faith. And one of the foundations that make questions is okay is knowing that God's Word is right and His works are done in truth as it says in this verse. When you believe that God is good regardless of what happens, you can have hope and faith through all circumstances.

Monday, February 4, 2019

hope is powerful

"Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.

"Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind.

"So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.

"Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek." -Hebrews 6:15-20

Today I have been thinking about the power of hope. Hope always hangs on to something. Hope wants prayers to be answered just as asked, but hope in God's unwavering promises also knows that if things don't work out as planned, things will still turn around and work out. But hope is always hopeful that the answers will come, even if you don't see what you think you should see.

Hope keeps you encouraged and joyful, always thinking about the possibility of God-things around the corner.

I truly believe God is a safe space for our hope and a place where we can rest our hope knowing He will pull things together for good!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

thankful for today

It's Sunday... maybe I'll start naming five things I'm thankful for every Sunday.

1. Thankful for the people in my life. I could spend a long time writing down all the people I'm thankful for and why, so I'll just start here and say I'm thankful for the relationships God has brought me!

2. Thankful for a fresh start every day. I've come to appreciate that mornings provide a clean slate. Even though it doesn't always get rid of problems, it does give you a fresh perspective on them.

3. Thankful for little girl ponytails. They are adorable... and they keep the hair out of her eyes!

4. Thankful for the changing seasons. Even though I don't like every part of each season, I'm grateful for variety. No matter how cold it gets, I know it will eventually be warm... and vice versa.

5. Thankful for computers. Yeah, they can lead to a lot of frustration, but they allow me to work from home and access a lot of good information and then send my projects in!

What are you thankful for?



Saturday, February 2, 2019

God still cares

Every morning when we wake, we are flooded with thoughts, cares, and concerns. Lists of things to do run through our head... and through it all, God still cares. He's available to help us through the big and the little.

Yesterday, one of the key things running through my head was keep going. Sometimes things move a lot slower than we expect, plan, or want, but that doesn't change the fact that we should keep going! Keep moving! Keep kindness and unconditional love as central as you can.

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." -Galatians 6:9

Friday, February 1, 2019

think about heaven

"Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority!" -Colossians 3:1 TPT

We are to yearn for all that is above.

I am very excited for the day we meet Jesus. I imagine that day when I see Him and everything that I've worked for will be rewarded. It will be like... I was right! I mean, I'm sure I won't think those thoughts exactly, but it is very nice to have that thought, one day, I'll see the unseen I've believed in.

That's one thing that keeps me going. This earth won't last forever, which is nice sometimes to think about when the world seems to be going crazeeeee! I also know that people who no longer live here and believed in Jesus, I'll get to see again!

Oh yeah, and it will be fun to see what heaven looks like one day... the perfect place. Gold streets, no light, only the light from God. Trees that just provide fruit. What will the fruit taste like? What will the colors be? How magnificent! So cool!

Those things keep me going. Yay!