Friday, February 20, 2015

Get in the Word

Last year I really struggled getting into the Word. I often found myself reading some incredible books and blogs that also had scripture referenced in them and used that as my "scripture reading".

It was a lame excuse and for 2015 my goal was to get back into the Word. I decided to read through the Bible in a year. I had done it before several years ago, and tried again another time, but I can get frustrated if I miss a day and can't mark off the box with a little check and then instead of reading catching up I just say "screw it" and give up.

I found a plan on one of my favorite sites, She Reads Truth. Seriously, I can't say enough about this website. Go dig around and you will fall in love as well. I downloaded the App, signed up for the Read the Bible in a Year Plan, and haven't looked back.

It's pretty incredible because, I have been at it for almost 2 whole months now and there have been some wonderful and timely nuggets from scripture, but more than that there is just nothing like being in the scripture daily to do wonders for your soul.

My outlook is different, I am in step with the Lord and so my decision making is clearer, my day to day is more focused and I don't second guess certain things when I know I've been in regular prayer and reading with Jesus. I know He is rewarding my faithfulness with His faithfulness and that it's not a magic combination I've clicked into, but I can tell that my entire life is different when I'm daily in the word.

The best part about this plan, and all She Reads Truth plans for that matter, is that it's short and to the point. It's exactly what I need in this season of my life and I am thankful for it.

You can sign up to get the current study (right now it follows Lent) delivered daily to your inbox for free, or you can access any one of their past studies (from Esther to Hospitality to Grace and more!) on their website and walk through it solo. They also have a free App which has it's own Bible and Notes section and all the plans are available there too (most have a small fee to keep the App running, but there are a few free ones including the one I'm doing)

The other cool part is that there is a whole community of women walking through these studies together. You can converse with them both on the website and through the app, and by using the hashtag #shereadstruth you can find even more!

There is nothing like being connected with other women who are walking through the same places in the Bible all over the world!

It's not too late to jump in, or pick one that fits your season of life on their website.
I am warning you...if you look at the Shop section and see the prints for sale you WILL drool- GORGEOUS!!

If you have your own study or plan or system you use to dig into the Word, awesome...keep at it! But if you're looking for something new or different check it out.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Face to Face With Your Soul

We are barely into February and this year has already been extremely hard. I didn't know what to expect when the year rolled from 2014 to 2015 but I do know I didn't expect such a hammering the first month.

My husband has sung or played at far too many funerals already this year, and is also watching as a beloved friend and mentor makes his way toward heaven. There has also been other things, things that have quite literally knocked the wind from my lungs and brought me to my knees in the most literal of senses. 

My heart is heavy. I know no other words to describe it. I ache from the hurt and destruction I see. 

My response to some devastating news recently gave me a good look at the status of my heart. I reacted pretty darn ugly.

  It was as if the depths of my carnal soul came pouring out and I hadn't realized there was so much of me left- and the need for so much more of Him.

It was a reality check for myself, that I still have so much work for Him to do in my heart and in my life. Nothing like being faced with pain and difficulties to see your true nature.

I remember when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I was angry and fearful. It took awhile for my heart to find it's way again and lean into Him and trust. This time, when I was smacked upside the head with tough news I reacted....yes, but I remembered how much more pain I went through with my Mom's diagnosis because I resisted falling into Him arms and trusting. I had some weird sense of control when I was worrying- some empty promise that if I fretted over it I could dictate what or how things happened. None of that is true. 

I had to decide, do I really trust God or do I not? Do I really believe what I preach, what I say to others and to my kids? Do I  really believe down to the very darkest part of my that I trust Him, or is it something I say because it feels nice and offers "hope", or do I say it because I believe it with every breath of my soul.

 I decided to just let the waves of His grace wash over me to do what didn't feel natural and to not fear, to not allow my brain to walk the "what if " path and to just trust...despite the pain. 

Ya'll this isn't easy. It is not easy to go against your sinful nature, your humanness and let go of the reigns and just free-fall into trusting God. In fact, I can hardly get through a day where I don't lay it all down at His feet multiple times. 

I am learning what it truly means to walk step by step with Him through this life because if I get too far ahead I lose sight of Him and if I lag behind my eyes lose focus and I get distracted by other things. 

There has never been a more significant time of growth in my relationship with Jesus, than when I was suffering.....

There has never. Been a more significant time of growth in my relationship with Jesus, than when I was suffering. 

I don't know what you are facing, or what is heading your way. What I do know is that there is no other way to walk this life but to trust in God. I see no other way to feel utter devastation and yet a peace that surpasses all things. I am confident in His faithfulness because He has yet to let me down. He has yet to turn from me and leave me to walk anything alone.

Lean in. Trust Him. It's so much better than trying to maintain a false sense of control. I promise you will yield fruit because of it. He is faithful. 

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
Philippians 3:10

Thank you Jesus for friends who bring by chocolate bars, husbands who are the very definition of compassion and love, family who prays, little boys with cheeky grins, framily that you trust implicitly and the nectar of 

This song below is one of my favorites and makes me cry every time. 
Listen to it if you can.
He's Always Been Faithful To Me

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God's hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He's always been faithful to me.

I can't remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can't remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He's always been faithful to me.

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I've heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He's always been faithful, He's always been faithful
He's always been faithful to me.