Growing up, I was terrified that I would somehow get outside of God’s will and not realize it. Then my whole life would be ruined, and I would never be happy with my life, and God would not be happy with me either. Now I am realizing that God’s will is not an exact course for your life, but simply a relationship with Him.
I nanny 2 days a week. When I go see the girls, I don’t have an hour by hour agenda for what we are going to do. I want us to have fun, and I want us to do something other than waste our time watching videos (please, no more baby shark).
I wonder if our relationship with God is kind of like this. I know He has a plan for each of us, but what if that plan is that we grow closer to Him. As we grow closer to Him, we become more like Him, and our life reflects back to Him his glory.
So maybe God’s will is less an hour by hour plan, and more a step by step relationship.
“Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and...
I have been reading some form of the Bible since I was a kid, and have been studying the Bible for most of my adult life to this point. Over time, I have probably made each one of these mistakes. Here are a few things to watch out for when studying the Bible.
One of the most common verses taken out of context is Jeremiah 29:11. I am sure you have seen it on a graduation card somewhere. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Now this is a great promise, but it was a promise for the people of Israel that were in exile at the specific time this was written. It is not a blanket statement for all of us. I KNOW that I have quoted this verse incorrectly in the past, but as I seek to get better at Bible study, I don’t want to take verses out of context, but instead want to seek out...
As we set into a new week, that ultimately leads into a new month, I challenge you to set your sights on the Lord. Read Psalm 27. Pray it’s words. Here is my prayer for myself as I walk into this week. Maybe it is your prayer too.
In You, I am safe.
In You, I don’t have to be afraid.
When I face hard things in this world, I know that I can rest in You. You are where I place my trust.
If I can only ask one thing of You, I ask that You keep me close. I want to be near You. You are my safe place. I will praise You every chance I get.
No matter what happens, I will wait and trust in You.
I was driving today, and a song from high school came on the radio. I was singing every single word before I realized what the words were that I was singing. It got me thinking, what if scripture was so ingrained in me that I could recite it without thinking about it. What if when a situation arose, the first thoughts in my head were the very thoughts of God by His Word?
I am memorizing the book of James currently, and have chapter one semi down. I still need a few word reminders every now and then. I don’t say this to brag, or say look at me for what I am memorizing. But I do say this to ask you to hold me to it. Help me reach that point. I want my thoughts to be God’s thoughts. I want the words that come out of my mouth to be the very words of God.
Psalm 84 expresses the writer’s desire to be near God by being in His house. Take a few minutes to read this Psalm.
Sit with this chapter for a minute, and write what comes to your mind after reading it in your journal.
If you feel the same as the Psalmist, write that.
If you don’t feel the same as the Psalmist but want to, write that.
For the Psalmist, being near God for a little while was better than being away from God for 1000 years. Write out what being near to God is better than for you.
When starting something new, there is always this pressure to get it right. So here are a few starting rules for getting your journal habit started and set up.
No one is going to read your journal. If you are worried about it, find a safe place to keep it. However, you need to make sure to be honest with yourself so you can get to the root of whatever you are dealing with. Being dishonest will only hurt you.
Or pictures. It’s your journal. Pen to page how you want to. It doesn’t matter how much or how little. One word. One sketch. 3 pages. Pen to paper. Just do it.
Daily, weekly, monthly. If you skip a week, pick it back up where you left off. No one is counting how many days you missed. Simply pick it back up and start again.
Sometimes you pick out a journal, and things are going great for a little while, and then you fall off the bandwagon. Sometimes you can pick that same journal...
When it comes to journaling, most people’s first thought is “Dear Diary, today I went to the park…” Or at least, I assume that is your first thought. However, there are many types of journals, and that play by play through the day is only one type. I have never really kept that type of journal. My journals are all a mix of the different types of journals listed here. They aren’t pretty (definitely not Pinterest worthy), and they don’t follow any set rules. My journal, my rules, and rules were meant to be broken.
The first type of journal is similar to the Dear Diary format, and is simply a log of your prayers, thoughts, and feelings. This can help you trace your thoughts back to the root, and help you get to the bottom of why you are feeling the way you are. This type of journaling helps me realize when I am being irrational or selfish, and helps me make clearer decisions. I don’t do this every day, but only when I am...
If there is one thing that I am thankful to have done throughout the years, it is journal my prayers. I have a pretty awful memory, but going back through and being able to read what I prayed for and asked God about at different times in my life has been an invaluable tool for tracing God’s hand throughout my story. As I am reading through the Old Testament this year, I have been circling every time God told the Israelites to remember, and I have lost track of how many times He has commanded it up until this point. They have put all kinds of practices in place simply to help them remember who God is and what He has done for them.
Just like the Israelites, I am prone to forget. Using a journal has helped me to remember.
Being able to remember what God has done for me in the past has been crucial to my faith in God in the present. It has helped me to see no matter where I was in my life, God has never failed me. And since He is a God that does not change, He never will...
I regularly pray for you. If you have found your way to my site, you have been prayed for. It’s true.
Sometimes Mondays can be hard. So I wanted to give you a little prayer to pray today. There is nothing special about my words. You can change them. Make them your own words if you want. But I have found, the best way to start my week is in prayer. Try it out. Let me know how it goes!
As we walk through this day, this week, keep us with You. You are our safe place. You are our Rock. We don’t want anything that might take us away from you.
You guide us through life, and with You as our Guide, who can shake us? We are immovable in You.
Through You, we have Life. Life that we could get no other way. But you don’t settle for just giving us Life, you wanted to give us joy and happiness as well.
You are the giver of every good gift. Help us to delight in You.
Today is the day between Good Friday, and Easter. It’s the messy middle. Jesus is dead. Sin has appeared to conquer. But we know tomorrow will sing a different song. Maybe in life, you are in a messy middle. Maybe you can’t quite sing the song of hope while in the darkness.
I hope Psalm 34:18 can sing a little hope for you.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.
Today, try to carve out a little time with your journal and coffee. Write about what this verse means to you.
Maybe inside this messy middle, you want to feel God near to your broken heart.
Maybe you are just on the other side of that mess, and looking back at how God was there all along.
Maybe you are still searching, wondering about where God is in all of this.
Write in your journal like you are writing to God. Nothing is off limits. I promise He is big enough to handle whatever is on your heart.