Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent Meditation

Its the most wonderful time of the year friends!

I pray that you are having a wonderful start to your week.

This is my favorite time of the year. The holiday season brings with it so many fond memories of family traditions, merriment, and holiday festivities. I just love the spirit in the air!

This year, since my little one is beginning to be old enough to kind of know what is going on, I am trying to come up with some new traditions for our sweet family of three to also make this a season of worship and reflection, instead of just one about the gifts and Santa (which are great too!).

Growing up, we celebrated the Advent season at church with the lighting of the candles on the wreath. I wanted to bring some of that tradition to our house, so we decided to do an advent calendar and scripture reading each day from December 1-25.

If you are interested- here is the advent scripture list we are using.

I decided to use this as a guide for some advent meditations here on the blog as well. I hope you enjoy following along with us!

Isaiah 2:6-7 (MSG)
For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.


I am in awe when I sit down and think about what the birth of Christ means for us. 

Jesus was a GIFT for us.  

A gift given out of love. God's desire is for us to live a life of wholeness, grace, peace, and love through relationship with Jesus. 

As we begin this busy Christmas season, lets remember the greatest gift ever given. 

I pray that during the advent the busyness of the season wouldn't take center stage in our lives. That stress, hurry, and gift giving will take a backseat to worship and reflection. 

I pray that we would love people well, as Christmas time can be painful and lonely for many. I pray that we are able to give grace to each other and to ourselves. That strained relationships would be restored and faults forgiven. I pray many people will come to know who Jesus is because we are able to love each other as he loves us.

I also pray that as we celebrate Jesus' birth we come to a new knowledge of God's love for us, because when we do we are forever changed for the better.

Amen and Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Meditation


How is your week going so far friends?

Its been fabulous over here so far! I set up our Christmas tree last night and have had the Christmas tunes on blast all week. I am determined to draw out this most wonderful time of year as long as possible! I also have a super fun weekend ahead with some of my favorite people that has put an extra pep in my step as well.

My meditation this week is another of my favorites and I was reminded of it in church this week so I thought I would go ahead and share it with you.

Matthew 6:33 (AMP)
33 But seek ([a]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([b]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [c]taken together will be given you besides.


In my own life, throughout each different season there are things (material things, jobs, finances, relationships, etc) that I am praying and believing for. Sometimes to the extent that I make that particular want or need my focus.

I worry and stress.
Try to control the situation to make it go the way I want.
Lose sleep trying to determine what the eventual outcome will be.

Many times these prayers have to do with material things or finances. Especially since I am now a stay at home mom and we have a more limited budget than we once did.

Through this verse and others God has taught me to seek him for who he is instead of what he can do for me.

Learning more about who God is and what it means to really trust him has changed my heart and attitude towards all of these things that I pray for. It also has helped me to realize that my worry just implies that I don't think God is big or mighty enough to take care of my needs.

I love the way The Message translates this verse:

Matthew 6:30-33 (MSG)
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."

I encourage you to relax and seek him first friends. Get into the word and start pressing into the Lord and his promises for your life. Stop worrying about these things you are praying for and believe that the God who promises to provide for all our needs will take care of yours as well.

Trust that when we seek him and his righteousness you will have all you need and more.

Amen!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday Jam

Just one more sleep until the weekend friends!

I don't know about you but I am looking forward to it.

I had a hard time deciding which worship song to share with you this week. Simply because there are so many that I absolutely love!

In the end, I am going with a song that has been out for a while but it is one of my all time favorites.

Also because its been pretty gloomy around these parts this week and that sometimes puts me in a funk. But this song is great because it lifts that cloud over my head and replaces it with a new song in my heart. It reminds me what I need to do to come alive and be filled with the joy of the Lord.

The song is "Freedom is Here" by Hillsong United.

The most amazing thing about having a relationship with Jesus is the freedom that he desires for us to experience. Many people mistakenly think that this relationship is a set of rules and a bunch of do's and don'ts.

While there are some black and white commands that God asks us to be obedient to in the Bible, the truth is that God's desire is for us to live in FREEDOM. He gives us the freedom to choose to follow and be obedient to him (giving us the Holy Spirit to help us) and then experience his freedom from bondage/sin as a result.

He intends for us to use this freedom to serve each other.

Galations 5:13 (NLT)
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

The lyrics of this song talk about how things come alive and we experience freedom as we lift Jesus higher. 

I just love that.

Because its such a simple answer to all the things in life we tend to complicate.

We worry and stress and try to control circumstances and let them steal our peace and cause us to live in bondage.

The answer to be set free and stop this cycle is always Jesus. Simple right?

Pressing into him and lifting his name higher is what allows us to receive his freedom.

Everything comes alive when we lift Him higher.
Then beloved, your freedom is here.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday Meditation

I'm a day late (again) this week. Better late then never!

My scripture meditation this week is inspired by a new sermon series that was started at our church on money. Its always a tough subject for me because each time I hear a message about money, I am reminded how I often let my bank account determine my identity and happiness.

I first had a huge awakening regarding this matter when I quit my job and decided to stay home full time. Suddenly our budget was quite a bit tighter and I had to give up some of my former spending habits.

I was quite grumpy about it for a little while. I definitely let it steal my peace and joy.

I didn't realize how attached I had become to a paycheck. How much of my happiness, identity, and security was in that money I received twice per month.

Can anyone relate here?

After much prayer and repentance, God really did change my heart (and continues to do so) about money, and also about how I was spending my time and using my gifts.

This verse is a great reminder to me and a motivation to continually evaluate how I spend my time, talents, and money.

Matthew 6:21 (AMP)
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


The places/people/things that we invest our time and money into tell us a lot about where our heart is and what is most important to us. 


I believe God gives us these three things (time, talent, finances) as tools for us to use to accomplish his plan and purposes for our lives. It is our responsibility to live in obedience and to steward these blessings to bring people closer to Jesus. That is what we are here for!

I pray that today this verse would be an encouragement to you to take a look at where you are investing yourself. 

Be blessed today friends!




Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Jam



I know that I am late to the party but I just purchased Hillsong United's Zion cd after a dear friend raved about how good it was. Pick it up if you haven't already- you will be blessed by it!

This same dear friend also inspired this Thursday Jam because she told me that her favorite song on the cd was "Oceans" and I have been playing it on repeat ever since.


The part of the song that has stuck with me is the refrain:

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


I have noticed several other people have posted this refrain as a status on Facebook, and I don't blame them. These words are powerful!

But it makes me wonder what these words look like lived out in real life?

How many of us really, truly, want to go wherever the Spirit is calling us?
Desire to trust God without limitation?
Obedience without questioning?
No making excuses or needing confirmation 10 different ways before we take a step of faith?

Most of us want to go wherever the Spirit is calling us as long as its comfortable and not too scary.
As long as it doesn't involve confrontation or rejection or criticism. Or standing out from everyone else.

I can honestly say it is the desire of my heart to get to that place that I am wholeheartedly willing to go WHEREVER the Spirit calls me.

Just to be real with you: I can't say that I am there right now.

I mean after all, it took me FOUR YEARS to respond in obedience when I felt the Spirit leading me to start a blog. Sheesh!

I am most definitely getting better and becoming more aware of the Spirit's leading in my life- but I still have a looooong way to go in this area.

There are still times I find myself hesitating or making excuses when I feel like the Holy Spirit is leading me to do something....

Because where he calls me might be scary. Or uncomfortable. Or messy.
I might face rejection there and lose friends.
I might look ridiculous to others.
I might have to let go of some material things that I hold dear.
It may cause me to recognize some not so pretty truths about myself.
I might have to live differently than I do right now.

Sometimes I hesitate to do the simple things that the Spirit calls me to do like lay hands on and pray for someone I don't know. To bless someone that I don't know with a meal. To reach out to my neighbors. To share my faith with a stranger. To give grace to someone who may not be so nice to me.

Am I the only one here?

Stepping out in faith and living in obedience to the Holy Spirit's leading is something that takes courage and boldness. A willingness to live outside of our comfort zone. Discipline to say yes in obedience to the Lord without question.

I sing this song "Oceans" with that desire in my heart that the Spirit would lead me to a place of trust without borders. To a new place of boldness in my walk with the Lord. That I would be obedient to him no matter what the ancillary consequences may be.

Because I know that is the place where my faith will be strengthened and I will experience a new level of peace, freedom, and victory in my life and relationship with Jesus.


Each time I listen to this song, I believe my courage is bolstered just a bit.
My prayer is that it will do the same for you.

2 Corinthians 3:17 9 (AMP)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).(A)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday errr.....Tuesday Meditation


On this Tuesday, it is a story (instead of just a verse or two) from the Bible that has been pressing on my heart, so I thought it was appropriate to share:

Matthew 14:22-33 (NLT)
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said.“Why did you doubt me?”
When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.


I have read this story countless times. And I love it. But this time, I noticed something different. I felt like God showed me something new in this story that was so timely and encouraging to me in my current season of life.

Side Note: That is my absolute favorite thing about the Bible! It is always relevant to the here and now of my life. God continually uses verses and stories that I have heard countless times to teach me new things. Awesome.

In the story of Jesus walking on the water, it dawned on me that when Peter focused on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. 
The moment that he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm going on around him, he began to sink.

Whoa.

Just let that absorb into your brain for a moment.

Recently my focus has been on the storm. And it does feel like I am sinking some days. 

And the mistake has been letting my focus change from God to what is going on around me. 

When I fix my eyes on my current circumstances, it gives the enemy an opportunity to tear me down even more. It becomes a downward spiral, and I tend to let whatever I am going through determine my attitude at that time.

This is not a good thing. For me or those around me. It puts me in a funk!

I need to remember we serve a mighty God who has the ability to bring me out of my circumstances. 
And even if he doesn't change my circumstances he can change my heart in the midst of them, give me his peace, and work every detail of my situation for good (Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:6-7) if I can just fix my eyes on him.

Its true for you too!

What is the current storm in your life that you are focusing on instead of Jesus?

Rejection
Disappointment
Failed relationship
Fear
Sickness
Loss

When Peter looked at the storm around him he became scared. And many of the "storms" we experience in life are scary and overwhelming. 

But Jesus tells us not to doubt him. 
To not be afraid. 
To take courage!

Its a commandment people!

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your current circumstances, feeling defeated, or rejected.

Take courage!

And if you need some ideas on how to get back on track.....

Get into the Bible and start reading!
Find a Bible based church where I can be fed and encouraged.
Listen to some praise and worship music.
Watch/Listen to sermons on the web.
PRAY!


I hope this story encourages you today as much as it did me.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!










Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Meditation


I seem to go through seasons of life in my relationship with the Lord where he gives me a revelation of himself, a better understanding of who he is, and then that understanding is deepened through different events that occur over a period of time.

In this current season of life, I feel like his message to me has been one of his GRACE.

The more I learn about his grace in my life, and the lives of others I am changed.

More and more I am convinced that understanding His grace changes everything.

It changes the way we see ourselves.
It changes how we respond to situations/people
It changes the way we treat others.

A revelation of his grace in my life allowed me to see others the way God sees them. It gave me the freedom to receive his peace in knowing that he loves EVERYONE the same way he loves me.

Understanding his grace gave me the ability to LET IT GO. It showed me how I should love others the way Jesus does, instead of trying to change them myself or act as the Holy Spirit in their lives.

I understand now that he doesn't see and weigh sin the way I did/do. Its all just sin to him.

We are all equal: a bunch of imperfect people in need of a perfect Savior.

Even though we sin and turn away from him continually, he is still kind, tolerant, and patient with us. Wooing us back to him with lovingkindness and undeserved favor (grace). There we can repent and find forgiveness.

It is the love and kindness of Jesus that leads us to repentance. 

I can't help but think what would the world look like if we would freely and actively show God's grace to others?

What would the church look like if we could extend God's grace, love, and kindness to everyone?

It would surely be a different place.

The verse I chose to share with you today was the catalyst for this revelation of grace in my life. I pray that as you meditate on it, you come to a new understanding of God's grace and love for you.

Because when you do, you will never be the same again.

Romans 2:3-4 (NRSV)
Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday Jam

Only one more sleep until the weekend folks!

I love Thursdays for this exact reason. I'm also beginning to love it because I get to share worship music that I love with you!

Plus this fall weather makes me happy.
I ate the most awesome donut with rainbow sprinkles this morning. <------so good!
And my friend is coming to visit this weekend.

Its the little things!

The song I am sharing today is just one of my favorites.

I listened to this on repeat while I was in labor with my daughter, which brings back happy (albeit painful) memories.

Whenever I listen to it, it just causes me to take a deep breath and relax a little.

Because life gets crazy doesn't it? Things are hectic and we try to fit so many things into our days.

All the responsibilities that come with being a wife/mother/friend/sister/daughter can be overwhelming and exhausting all at the same time.

Lately I have just been feeling weary. Like I need a rest.

I actually told my husband the other day my dream was to just have a day to sleep.

Dramatic I know.

Maybe you are feeling weary but for different reasons.

Family troubles.
Sickness.
Financial difficulty.
Marital strife.
Unruly children.
____________ (Fill in the blank)

Whatever it is, there is rest in Jesus. When you sit back from the chaos and lean into him, he will meet you there and give you the rest you are longing for.

The answer is Jesus. Every.Time.

I pray this song reminds you to take that deep breath, to open your hands and release your burdens to Jesus. Then receive his peace and rest friend. He's got it covered.

Amen and Amen!

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Meditation

Well hello again!

Welcome to the start of another week.

There is no better way to start a Monday (in my opinion) than meditating on a portion of scripture.

Even if you are a busy person who hasn't figured out how to schedule in some quiet time with the Lord, I highly recommend choosing a verse that stands out to you and putting in in front of you all week.

Write the verse(s) on a notecard and put a copy in your purse, in your car, on the fridge, or maybe on your mirror.

When you keep it in front of you all week, you will be surprised at how God will make his word come alive to you during your day to day life. At the same time, you will have it memorized and when you need it the most the Holy Spirit will bring it back to you and use it again.

Its true! There is nothing more powerful and encouraging than the truth of God's word.

Today's verse that I am sharing with you has been at the top of my mind lately.

There are lots of people in my life that are going through rough circumstances or desert seasons.

I know all can relate to that!

In the midst of a trying season, when you are experiencing all sorts of hurts and/or difficulties it is a natural response to look for answers or a way out.

We want to blame someone and oftentimes, unfortunately, we blame and question God and his goodness.

John 10:10 reminds us that it is the enemy who is the cause of our misery. Anything that happens in your life that falls under the categories of steal, kill, or destroy is straight from the devil. It is not from God.

You will never be more prone to an attack than when you are on the wilderness road on the way to God's promise and plan for your life. 
-Beth Moore

I have noticed that some of the most trying and difficult times in my life have been when I am seeking God's will for my life and taking steps of obedience into his plan and purposes. The enemy's voice in my ear is loud, sometimes deafening. Stealing my peace and joy.

Maybe you aren't in a place where you are seeking the Lord's will and you are in the midst of difficulty, feeling hurt and defeated. The enemy wants nothing more for you than to keep you right where you are at.

Feeling angry.
Hurt.
Insecure.
Discouraged.
Worthless.
Alone.

The wonderful thing is that it doesn't have to be that way for you. When you are in Christ the enemy has been overcome and you have authority to tell him to get out and leave you alone!

John 10:10 reemphasizes this point. It states the kind of life God intends for us to live in him.


John 10:10
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [a]overflows).

Jesus wants you to live a rich, full, and satisfying life.


He wants you to have an abundant life. Until it overflows!

I looked up the definition of abundant just to give you a clearer picture:


    1. Abundant- existing or available in large quantities; plentiful
      Synonyms include: huge, great, rich, lavish, profuse, teeming, large


      I am all for some of that abundant, lavish, FULL life in Jesus! 
What about you?



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday Jam: Remembering Grandpa


One year ago today my sweet Grandpa went to heaven.
All at the same time it feels like it was yesterday and then sometimes ages ago.


My grandpa was very special to me. He walked me down the aisle at my wedding. When I was young he called me "Miggily Piggily", which at the time I hated, but now the thought of it makes me smile.

I love how he always asked me how "his Meggie" was doing. That he would stop and tell me how beautiful I was to him every time I saw him. He made me feel important and special. I love that even though he hated to fly in airplanes, he flew all the way from Nebraska to North Carolina for my wedding so that he could be there for me.

He had a beautiful singing voice. He loved serving his church as head usher. He loved opera music, dancing, crossword puzzles, and the Chicago Bears. He LOVED dessert and had a major sweet tooth.

Most of all he loved my grandma. They were married for 66 years when he passed.

Right now he is walking with Jesus and I am so happy and comforted by that. I know towards the end of his life, he was desperately ready for the wholeness heaven would bring to his failing body.

This song "You Hold Me Now" by Hillsong United reminds me of my grandpa in heaven and makes me excited for the day when I get to see him again.
What a sweet sweet day that will be to be in the presence of Jesus together. I can't wait!


Revelation 21:4 (KGV)
And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things have passed away.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I know I say it every week- but wow- Wednesday is here again!

Ever since I became a mother I swear it feels as if time just speeds up. I can't believe how fast the days go by. Slow down please! This mama doesn't want her baby growing up so fast. Do ya feel me?

I'm doing my best to try and get into a regular blogging routine. Its been a bit spotty these last two weeks as I am still figuring things out. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

So many things I am loving this week!

1. Old Navy Rockstar Skinny Jeans- I recently took advantage of the fact that these were on sale for $19 (Can you believe that price?!?) and purchased a black and a grey pair. They are sooooo stretchy and comfortable!

The black ones seriously feel like yoga pants. And as all you mommies out there know yoga pants=awesome mom uniform.

As a former jean snob, I was seriously surprised at the fit of these jeans. Check them out. So many fun colors and prints too. The sale ends today 10/2 so hurry up!

2. This weekend, my husband and I both had a hankering (haha) for a cheeseburger and fries. But after looking at the nutritional information on the restaurant versions (yes I do that- helps talk me out of bad eating decisions) I decided to make them at home. And they were out of this world!

I loosely based the cheeseburger recipe on The Pioneer Woman's bacon cheeseburgers. I used leaner meat than she does and I didn't use the cream. I also added half a packet of Italian seasoning and used 100% whole wheat buns. So. good. We may or may not have eaten them twice this weekend. Whoops!

I also made these Baked Oven FriesI found this recipe on Pinterest. They were so yummy as well! The secret is soaking the potatoes in water before baking for as long as you can. Makes the fries crispy and oh so yummy. I also had to cook them for much longer than the recipe states, just fyi.

3. This. Whoa.
A convicting thought. Been rolling this around in my brain all week.

4. Fall colors! The leaves are starting to turn here in Michigan and its just beautiful. My favorite time of year for sure.

5. My leopard flats. They are cheap, comfy, and go with everything. My perfect fall shoe!

I guess that about covers it. What things are you currently loving? I would love to know.
Have a happy Wednesday!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Meditation.

Well hello there!

I hope you had a most fabulous weekend. I know I did!

A song that we sang during praise and worship at church on Sunday inspired this Monday Meditation.

I'm including the video of the song as a bonus since I missed posting last Thursday.

It's a two-for-one! #yourwelcome.

There have been several seasons in my life when I just did not feel like God was near to me.
At one point, I was making bad choices and deliberately trying to separate myself from him.
Other times I was seeking him, looking for his direction and I just didn't feel his presence near me at the time.

Have you ever been there?

This song in church yesterday reminded me of the fact that Jesus never ever leaves us.

Even in those moments where I turn away from him.
When I make a mistake, or a bad choice, or choose to be disobedient.
If I feel lonely and abandoned in earthly relationships.

I love to be reminded that He is there and he will never fail me.
And he never stops being willing to support me.
He will never abandon me or turn his back on me.




Hebrews 13:5b (AMP)
For He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!](A)

This is such an important truth!

I want you to know that God is ALWAYS present in your life.

Yes.
That's right.
There are NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

It doesn't matter if you feel like you are all alone.
Or that you have made too many mistakes.
You may be seeking him and just don't feel his presence at the moment.

None of these things matter because the truth is in this verse.

HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!

The verse says it THREE TIMES. When Jesus repeats something three times, he means business.

There is nothing you can ever do that would cause him to abandon or turn his back on you.
He is concerned with every detail of your life.
He is always right there, waiting to love you, support you, and help you.

If you are seeking him and can't hear his voice or sense his presence- I want to encourage you to keep pressing into him!
James 4:8 says that when you draw near to God, he will draw near to you. Stay in an attitude of expectation and you WILL hear his voice. It may not be in the way you expect, or in the timing you would like- but he WILL show up!

In a world where circumstances and earthly relationships are constantly changing and often prove unreliable, there is one thing that will never change; Jesus' presence in your life and his unconditional love for you.

His desire to support and hold you throughout every season of your life remains the same.

Wow.
That's pretty amazing isn't it?!?

Rest in this truth today friends.





Friday, September 27, 2013

High Five for Friday!

I'm a little behind this week and the blog has been quiet. Sorry for that!

The weather has just been so beautiful around here Grace and I have been busy enjoying it and spending time at the park and going on walks all week. My favorite.

What better way to end the week than my High Five for Friday highlights?!?
I'm linking up with Lauren at thelaurenelizabeth.com. Check our her blog if you ever have the chance.

1. This weather has been awesome!


I wish fall would never end.

2. This #hashtag video by Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon is hysterical. They are my favorite comedic duo ever!



3. Grace has an alphabet book and she has had me sing the song to her at least 100 times this week. No joke. I keep catching her carrying the book around the house (she also has been taking it in the car with her) and "singing". Its the cutest.


video


4. As I said earlier, we have spent quite a bit of time at the park this week. One of our nearby parks has lots of ducks and Grace just loves them. This little lady has no fear of animals.

5. This is just good stuff right here. Brought me right back to our Monday Meditation.

 I am working on some new posts so check back soon. 

Have a lovely weekend friends!
Blessings!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin!



Do you like to read lots of blogs like I do?

Consider following me on Bloglovin!



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Monday Meditation.




Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Period.

End of story.

There are no exceptions here folks.
NOTHING is impossible with God.

Whatever you are believing for today, all you need to know is that with God it IS possible. 

Rest in that truth today.
Lean into the one who is ABLE.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Let it Go.


Ever since I saw someone post this picture on Instagram, the refrain has been running through my head.

When I start to let myself get offended.
When I let little things annoy or upset me.
When I feel like I need to "fix" a situation that has gone awry and obsess over it.
When I feel insecure about something I said/did.
When I have certain expectations that aren't met.

God has just been laying it on my heart that I need to stop letting these attitudes bog me down and
 LET IT ALL GO!

However, this past Friday, while I was getting my hair done, my sweet hair stylist and I were conversing and I got the message loud and clear again. But this time it was for a different reason.

She was telling me a story, and while my personal situation wasn't exactly like hers, I felt like her response was what God wanted me to hear. Her words of wisdom resonated with me for the rest of the day and I thought I should share them here with you. (Side note: Don't you love it when God speaks through others? I do!)

LET THEM GO!

Are there people in your life that don't know the Lord?
Or that aren't walking with the Lord currently?
Doing destructive things and making poor choices?
Living in defeat?

There are in mine.

I want them to know God's grace and forgiveness so badly. To walk in his freedom. To have the peace that passes all understanding. To be healed and restored. To make good choices and know how much they are loved and valued.

Oftentimes, because of this I try to be their savior. I try to take the reigns and be the Holy Spirit in their lives.

I am certainly no savior. I am far from perfect and mess up all the time!
Its not my place to try and "fix"someone or change their heart.
Only God can do this.
There is only one Savior and his name is Jesus.

What I need to do is to lovingly LET THEM GO. Release my grip on the situation and prayerfully offer up these people in my life to the Lord. Even if it means they make bad decisions and suffer consequences as a result.

I need remember to:
Trust that he is their Savior and he is able to do what I can not.
Trust that he can rescue, restore, and heal anyone.
Trust that the Lord is at work in their lives even when I can't see it.
Trust in the power of prayer!

Both messages are resounding truth for me lately. They remind me again that the only person I can control is myself and my own attitude and responses. I don't help a situation by trying to be in control. God always knows much better than I do. Something I definitely forget often.

Maybe your situation isn't identical to mine but God is wanting you to listen to this response.

Which message do you need to hear today?

Let it go.
Let them go.

Acts 4:12 (AMP)
And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved.




Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five For Friday!


Today I am linking up with Lauren over at thelaurenelizabeth.com. Every Friday she does a High Five for Friday post featuring the top five highlights of her week.

I'm joining in on the fun today with my own high five for friday!

1. I got my hair done today. One of my favorite indulgences! I went a little bit darker this time and I am loving it! I am not a fan of selfies (or the term "selfies" for that matter) so I don't have a pic for you. #sorryimnotsorry

2. Everyone in my house is finally well! My husband and daughter got bit by the stomach bug earlier this week, so there has been a lot of cleaning up bodily fluids, if you know what I mean. #ick

3. Charlotte Gambill, one of my favorite speakers, posted this verse on her Instagram earlier this week, and I just loved it. I keep going back to read it.

4. I attended my first MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting this week. I am so excited for what's ahead and left the meeting just excited and expectant at all God has in store for our table this semester. So many lovely ladies to connect with!

5. Getting to spend my week with this sweet girl is always a highlight. I just love her!

Five doesn't seem like enough! There were lots of great things this week. But it will have to do.
Praying your weekend is fabulous friends. Be blessed!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Jam.


I've decided this is going to be a regular thing. Posting some of my favorite worship songs and why I like them.

That sound good? Good. Its a plan!

This song came on my Hillsong Pandora station this week. I love love love it!

It reminded me of how far I've come in my relationship with the Lord- and how much my faith has been stretched and expanded over the past few years.

Also that God knows much better than I do what's best for me. (Duh!)

About two or three years ago, I felt like it was a desert season for me as far as my relationship with the Lord was concerned.

Things were changing at work. I had gotten promoted into a new position and I absolutely loathed my  job. And my boss.

I was in my fifth year of traveling several nights a week for work and I was OVER IT. But I just didn't feel like I was supposed to find a different job. And I didn't like that one bit!

I had the hardest time keeping an attitude of joy during that time. I was desperately seeking God for guidance and it just felt like he wasn't there. (He WAS there, he was just being quiet) I was really trying to figure out what he had for me and I just couldn't for a period of time. It felt frustrating!

During that time, a dear friend of mine gave me three Hillsong cd's that I had been wanting and "Desert Song" was on one of them. I listened to it on repeat for weeks. It was the breakthrough I needed!

It felt like God was speaking to me directly through this song. Isn't that an awesome thing about worship music?!?

Here are the lyrics:

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

Verse 2:
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

Chorus:
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

Bridge:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be empited again
The seed I've recieved I will sow 


The chorus is what really stuck with me. 
All of our lives, in every season, He is still God and we have a reason to worship.

Whatever season you find yourself in today- I hope that is an encouragement to you! 
You ALWAYS have a reason to worship. 
Our circumstances don't change who God is or what he is able to do. 
He has promised he will give us victory in every situation! 

2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere

AMEN!
( I am including two versions- because I love them both equally!)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Choosing a name.


Choosing a name for this blog was quite a tricky thing.

Between picking something that felt inspired, gave the reader some idea of subject matter, and finding a name that wasn't already taken, it proved to be quite a challenge.

I wanted to give a little bit of background in order to maybe give you a bit of insight into me and where this little blog is headed, so here is how My Grace-Full Life came to be!

To get the full story, let's rewind here a little to before I was a mom. Let me give you a picture of who I was at that time:

Working in corporate America.
A total career woman and corporate ladder climber.
Traveling at least three days a week. Every week.
Did NOT want to ever NOT be working.
Involved in church a limited amount- as much as I could be with my schedule.

My priorities were all messed up. Work consumed my life. It was where I found my identity and security. I spent most of my time working. I had no desire to be a mom. I didn't put my husband as first priority and was not serving him the way I should.
I was overly critical of others. Judgmental and prideful.
It wasn't pretty.

It probably seemed like I had it all together from the outside. I had a great job, husband, house, I belonged to a great church where I was seeking the Lord and working on maturing in my faith.

But God knew I needed something more.

A change of heart. A change of attitude. A different place to find my identity.

And then I got pregnant and had my sweet girl, Grace. My life flipped upside down.

I quit my job.
Everything I used to do/have was stripped away.
I realized how much of my security and identity was found in my job/paycheck and not in God.

And I promptly freaked out. For the first nine months of her life I was a mess inside.

It was a scary place for me! To confront some of the idols, fears, and unforgiveness that was resulting in a sense of false security. To recognize some strongholds in my life. To realize what it means to totally and completely rely on the Lord.

And on top of all that- I was figuring out how to be a mom. Whoa.

It felt overwhelming!

But the miraculous thing is that God changed my heart. Revealed to me his love in a new way. Showed me what his grace really looks like lived out. I found a new purpose.

And slowly I came back to life. It is a new season for me, filled with more joy and peace than I could have ever imagined. My faith has been stretched and expanded. I know Him better than I did before.

Life is so much better and more fulfilling for me now and I wouldn't go back to what I was for anything.

Now, please understand, this is still a process I'm going through and I still struggle at times. But I've come a long way!

So that is where the inspiration for the blog name came from.

I had Grace. (My daughter)
God showed me what true grace looks like, and I'm learning how to extend that same grace to others.
My life is anything but graceful. I am always making mistakes and letting emotions get the better of me-but I'm learning and growing!

My prayer is that this blog blesses someone out there as I share bits of my Grace-filled journey. Your path/experiences may not look exactly like mine- but that's ok! We can all learn something from each other and find encouragement along the way.
Thanks for reading!

2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP)
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!