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Simply…Living For Him

Simply...Living For Him

What if We Spent Our Time on This Renovation?

Do you think if we didn’t have HGTV or Instagram or magazines or all these things… we would be content with what is in front of us? If we didn’t see the latest trend or the newest looks, we would be content with what we had?

We waste so much time trying to renovate our homes, but what about our hearts? If we spent as much time on the eternal things than we do on the external things, can you imagine the world we’d live in? Wow!

I think about those folks in third world countries. They have nothing in terms of material, but they are so content. They worship fully. They live fully. And they don’t strive for that perfect decor. They’re just glad to have a roof over their heads. And here we are spending our precious time and treasure on the perfect home…all these details…which will turn to dust someday.

Our visually saturated world- TV, the Internet, magazines- have made our eyes deceive our hearts. We think we need these things. We think these things will make us happy and content.

Yet, without focusing on the inside, we are really just the same people living in a pretty place-or maybe even more stressed. Are we really better off?

I remember as a young wife and new mom. I had to throw the Pottery Barn catalogs away because every time they came in the mail they showed me a life I couldn’t afford (and frankly didn’t need). I had a beautiful new baby, our own home (even if it wasn’t perfectly styled and up to date), and had Jesus. What more did I need to see! So I stopped looking at them and focused on what was in front of me. What God had already blessed me with. And decided to work on my heart more than my home. Because that is what really needed renovating!

These photos and TV shows trick us into believing the life we have in front of us is not enough. Yet, we don’t need to waste time and treasure on things that will end up as dust. We need to invest our time and hearts now into people and our own souls.

Join me? Let’s put the effort into our hearts and minds. Let’s renovate our souls. Let’s choose to focus on the things that matter for eternity. Because in the end, that will make our lives here on earth more beautiful than all the fixing up and it will last long after the dust of this earth is gone…and far into eternity.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

Simply...Living For Him

My Fears are Drowned and We Will Walk on Water

We are at graduation week. The time we have anticipated for so long. It doesn’t feel real, but at other times it feels so real I get overwhelmed. Does that make sense?

I have thought about the song “Oceans” more times than I can count lately. And today it is fitting.

I have been overwhelmed with stuff lately. Not just the big emotions of graduating and the immense milestone this is. Not just because of this school journey…but it truly is a milestone in our spiritual journey. But there is just so much stuff swirling around me at the moment it is hard to focus. And I just want to sit and bask in and constantly give glory for all God has done.

He allowed us to see His power these past 13 years. The power that is unleashed when we submit to Him, listen to Him, trust Him above our own thoughts and desires.

When we step out in faith and do the impossible.

And then we walk. Walk on water.

Just like Peter. We do what seems impossible because Jesus calls us and we obey.

This week though, and many times on this journey, just like Peter, I have taken my eyes off of Jesus. And those times (and even this week) I have said it feels like I am drowning.

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:27-33 ESV

But Jesus. He doesn’t allow us to sink in our own weakness. He doesn’t leave us in the water.

He stretches out His arm to save us.

So many times un this journey, I have been reminded to keep my eyes on Jesus and not on the storm around me or the waves tossing around me. 

And this week I will do the same. Because I know that God is in control of every detail and He will never allow us to sink.

Satan loves to steal my joy, to try and make me look at the distractions swirling around me and make me feel like I am drowning. Praise the Father that I know even when storms surround me, fears creep in threaten to take over, Jesus’ power keeps me walking on water.

And instead of me drowning, my fears are drowned. 

This week when my baby girl walks down that aisle to graduate, I will not just see her walking down an aisle, I will know that she is actually walking on water. 

Thank you, God. For the strength to do it.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
~Oceans, Hillsong

Simply...Living For Him

In the Storm

Life has sure been a whirlwind lately. I knew this time of year would be busy (and emotional) but I don’t think I truly understood the extent.

My baby girl graduates in less than a month. And with that comes so many “lasts.” Her last musical. Last recital. Last concert. We had the prom this week. And soon enough, she will walk down that aisle and get her diploma. And a brand new chapter will begin. This life as we know it will change. It is a good change, but it will change nonetheless.

Last night the weight of it all was weighing on me as I went to sleep. And I was starting to feel anxious. I laid in my bed and prayed, and just surrendered it all to  God. I prayed and just kept saying the name of Jesus over and over in my head. Sometimes that is all I can do to keep the negative thoughts out.

“Jesus. Jesus Jesus.” I repeated it over and over until I finally remember saying, “I surrender it all to you.” (my palms up prayer 😉 )

I fell peacefully asleep and within just a short time, was awoken by the loudest thunder I have heard in a long time. It literally shook my house. Followed by another monstrous sound. And another shaking of the house. And another. Then the downpour of rain. It was quite terrifying.

My phone buzzed and when I grabbed it, there was a weather emergency alert. It actually said, “Severe thunderstorm warning- a severe storm is spotted over Hope.” (that’s my town!) Now, normally these alerts come and the severe storm is in the area. This one particularly said it was directly over my town. (Which I already knew when I heard that thunder.) I am surprised it didn’t say… “the storm is located over Love’s Farm!” Because that is truly what it felt like.

And then I was even more scared. What about the peaceful prayers I prayed before falling asleep…surrendering to Jesus? And this is what followed?

I prayed all the more while laying in bed. I felt the spiritual battle for my mind was being played out, right there outside my window. The roaring winds and rain. The beating down on my roof, the loud thunder, the bright lightning. It was far from comforting.

I couldn’t sleep for hours. I prayed through hit, but it was a long night.

This morning I awoke to cool air…the kind that comes after a storm.  The sun rising. The air was still outside. It was peaceful. It was quite the opposite of what went out on just hours before.

I started to have thoughts about why on earth did I have such a tumultuous night after praying that prayer of surrender. What was God telling me? Or was Satan really going after me?

Then it hit me, ever so peacefully.

Even in the storms. Especially in the storms. That is true surrender.

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind…” Job 38:1

Sometimes I surrender it all and then think that all will be easy. But that’s not true surrender. True surrender means trusting Jesus when the winds are swirling and the thunder is roaring. When say it, I must truly mean it. In all things.

Because quite frankly there will always be battles raging. Until Jesus returns and takes us home to an eternity where He reigns forever, the battles here will still rage. And that is where the surrender wins. We surrender knowing that can mean a storm may come. A battle may brew. The winds will swirl. But Jesus is right there in the midst of it all. And you can have peace surrounded by a storm.

The truth is life is not defined by our circumstances, but Who is in our circumstances. And God is sovereign and supreme and rules over all the earth. The storms, the still, and everything in between. So if I am going to trust Him, He showed me last night, then I must trust Him completely. Not just when things are going my way. To trust Him means even if a storm rages, I stand firm because He is in the storm.

It is not our circumstances that bring us peace but knowing who God is, knowing that He is in control of every detail, is where our peace comes from.

That storm last night taught me much. That the next few months may be full of ups and downs, but praying for them to stay calm isn’t the answer. The answer is to have peace even if there are storms, knowing that God is so much bigger than all of it.

Walking through a storm with Him is greater than having no storms without Him.

I encourage you to read Job today. I just did. And was reminded just how magnificent God is. We are so small. He is the Creator and the One who ordains every single thing. I have no place to question my circumstances. Just to trust Him in them.

Chapter 38

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Dress for action[a] like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9 when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.

16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.

19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
20 that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21 You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

25 “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
26 to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?

………

 

Chapter 40

Then Job answered the Lord and said:

2 “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I despise myself,
and repent[a] in dust and ashes.”

 

Simply...Living For Him

Give the Gift that Will Bless a Woman in Your Life

A Meaningful Mother’s Day Gift

What could be a better gift than pointing that special woman in your life to the Lord? And grab one for yourself too! There is nothing more needed than spending time with the Lord!

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This simple journal is designed to get rid of the fluff and distractions that often hinder our quiet time and focus on the Lord.

With journal prompts and scripture to encourage you to lessen the mental clutter and seek Him first, we have provided a handy little journal to carry in your tote, keep at your bedside, with your morning cup of coffee, or wherever you need it when you want to jot down thoughts, prayer requests, and even struggles.

 

May your focus be less on the clutter that fills your mind and more on turning your eyes upon Jesus.

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