Thursday, February 25, 2016

Take Heart!!! John 16:33

I was riding along in the car yesterday while the kids were at school, and thankfully remembered that I was a grown up and did not have to be listening to Strawberry Shoetcake!  I switched over to KLove and heard Building 429's I'm Not Home Yet. I was singing along, rock'n to my jam when the line "When the earth shakes I want to be found in you" 
This phrase jumped out at me! I've heard this song before, but the Lord used it this time to remind me of his power!!! I was recently reading in John 16 where Jesus was telling his disciples that he was about to leave them. The disciples were confused and a little scared at what Jesus had said was going to happen, so at the end, he wrapped it up with
 ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 NIV
Take Heart!!! HE has overcome the world!!! If there was ever someone to cling to in times of upheaval, despair, or everyday "earth shaking," it would be the ONE who has overcome the world!!! ***insert war cries, cheers of jubilation and high fiving!!!***
Now, to OWN IT!!! What an amazing truth!!! Those trials, uphill battles and daily struggles? Hand. Them. Over!!! Jesus knows they're hard! He went through worse! But he OVERCAME them so he could carry your stuff too!!! 

Wow. Right?!  Let that sink in! So, when your world shakes, run to Jesus. Hand him your stuff. Heck, throw it at Him and cling to him!!! Trust me, he's big enough to carry everything AND wrap you up in his arms!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happiness- Gratitude Journal Page

I have always known happiness to be a human emotion that is usually temporary and based on life's circumstances, where as joy is eternal and comes from the Lord. So, as I began this page, I felt that I needed to "know" the actual definition of happiness!
1. Good fortune. 2. A state of well-being and contentment. 

Contentment! Now there's a word I recognize!!! My good friend, Paul, talks about this in his letter to the Phillipians, and boy does he have some stories to tell!!!

Paul is able to offer a surprisingly optimistic perspective on life, especially after the types of persecution he had endured. In his letter he wrote,

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13 NIV
Paul tells us that it's not what we have, who we're with, or how much money we make, but rather letting Christ's love being us happiness!!!

This truth is one that I need tattooed on my forehead!!! My happiness is often times tied to the moods of my kids, the circumstances of the day or how I feel when I'm hungry (can I get an Amen?!). I really struggle with removing myself from all of that and finding contentment in Him!!!!
Look to the Lord for your strength, joy and happiness and keep your eyes on things above!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beauty- Gratitude Journal Page

Our small group has been studying 1 Peter together for the last month or so, and man, is that book crammed full of goodies!!! Seriously! So many wonderful topics to dive into!!! So, when I hit the Beauty page of my Gratitude Journal from Illustrated Faith (yes, that was a November project!!!...lets just say that I'm really taking my time with being thankful 😂) chapter 3 vs. 3-4 spoke to my heart. 

"It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry or find clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from inside to you – the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God." 

As we talked in small group, we discussed extensively what these things look like when we live them out. What does it mean to have a gentle and quiet spirit with our husbands? Should we not be wearing make up and pretty clothes? (Woot woot!!! Yoga pants and tshirts Capsul Wardrobe?! -just kidding!) How does our beauty come from within?
My Illustrated Faith Whatever is Lovely collection helped me answer that last question beautifully!!! Philippians 4:8 says, 

"Whatever is true, Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy of the – think about such things."
You see, God is far less interested in if our outfit looks OK, or if our hair isn't doing just the right thing today, then he is about how her attitude is about those things! All he wants is us. All of us. And when we began to dwell on that fact, our beauty is going to shine from the inside out!
Our inner beauty will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God!