Scenes from the week

Well. I had the best of intentions to publish a post this week, but work has been busy and I didn’t get it done. Onto next week! 

I did, however, take a few snap shots of my week to post. 

This week, I:


Hung a sign outside my front door


Started a new, in depth Bible study on the book of Romans. I’m LOVING it! 


Added a Begonia to my window sill


Started a new book. It’s good, y’all.


Bought some carrots at the Farmer’s Market


Created a new dish. Scrambled eggs, yellow zucchini, basil and Parmesan cheese. 

Have a great week! 

Scenes from my week

This week, I:


Read on the back porch


Captured the evening sky


Continued on with my morning routine


Captured the way the morning light comes into my living room


Visited my mom at her office


Another evening sky


Got a new book


Went to the Farmer’s Market


Helped my sister in law with a wedding


Purchased some plants for my porch

All in all, a good week. 

Recent Reads

Having been at the beach a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some time reading. When it was all said and done, I think I had read a total of 5 books. Glorious.

Here are just a few books that I’ve read recently:

Lord Foulgrin’s Letters by Randy Alcorn

 

Image result for lord foulgrin's letters

Written in the same vein as C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters I really enjoyed this one as it helped open my eyes to the tactics of the enemy and his schemes in the lives of believers and non believers.

God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer

Image result for God is Able

I really enjoyed this book in which author and speaker, Priscilla Shirer breaks down Ephesians 3:20-21. It’s a quick read, and I highly recommend it.

Boundaries by Henry Cloud

Image result for boundaries

I had heard of this book a few years ago, but I’m just now getting around to reading it. A challenging read as I was confronted and challenged with some unhealthy relationship dynamics that can creep into a person’s life. It’s an eye-opening read, but one that’s good if you want to learn how to better relate to people in your life.

Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer

Image result for discerning the voice of god

Noticing a theme on which authors I like?? This was an excellent book on prayer and discerning when God is speaking. HIGHLY recommend it.

What about you? What have been your recent reads?

Scenes from the past few weeks

I was scrolling through the photos on my phone and realized it had been a while since I shared some. That seems to be a recurring theme. 

Anyway, here are some pics from last week from our family beach trip where we literally stayed in the last house on the island. But that’s another story for another time…

Who Am I?

question-markWay back in January I started sharing my journey of how the Lord has brought tremendous freedom in my life. I had every intention of finishing the three-part “series” by the end of February, but we can all see how that turned out. Some days I just like to bless my own heart.

However, I am back with part two! Perhaps it will be December when the third part is written. Who knows?

When I last left off, I mentioned that the Lord had brought me to the end of myself. Looking back, I now see where so much of my life was marked by fear. Fear that I wasn’t good enough, fear that God would be disappointed with me if I made a mistake or didn’t do the right thing or say the right words. And this fear was what propelled me forward. It was the motivation for all of my striving. And gosh, I was so good at striving, striving, striving. Striving to earn what I had already been given in Jesus.

It was during this time that God began to expose the ugly lies that I had believed and start to rearrange and change the entire motivation of my heart. I began to see God in the reality of who he is as a loving father that has provided all I will ever need in the death, burial, and resurrection of His son, Jesus. I began to relate to Him as a God that was for me, and not against me.

As a result of learning to view God as He truly is, I began to see myself more clearly as who I am in Him. Words that had once been used to condemn me were being replaced with the words of my Father as He showed me who I am.

I am:

  • God’s daughter
  • Completely, perfectly loved
  • Completely forgiven
  • Fearfully and wonderfully made
  • Made with and for a purpose
  • Made righteous through Jesus
  • Made holy and blameless through Jesus

And the list could go on…but hopefully you get the point. I have been given all of that in Jesus and that is my identity. But God wasn’t done (not that I’ve reached some pinnacle of spiritual enlightenment as I believe I’ll never fully “arrive” until I reach heaven). Once He established who He is and then who I am, He had to start shifting and rearranging the motivation of how I lived my life. In other words, the fear had to go…

But that part will have to wait for next time.

 

When God Gives Himself

heart

Growing up, I had my life figured out. I would marry at 22 and have 3-4 kids with the husband of my dreams. In my mind, my plan was foolproof. But suddenly I turned 23 (and then 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29) and I didn’t have a husband or kids. In fact, my life looked nothing like I had planned.

Did I miss something? Why haven’t my plans come into being? Is there something terribly wrong with me that I’m not aware of?

I had been praying, hoping, believing…all to (seemingly) no avail. Was God even hearing me, or had I reached the point of no return?

Turns out that yes, God was hearing me. I just wasn’t hearing Him. Funny how that works, huh?

All I could see was my apparent lack-what he wasn’t doing. And because I was so fixated on my perceived lack I couldn’t see what he had given me.

Himself.

On days I beg him for answers-He gives me Himself.

On days I feel alone and unseen-He gives me Himself.

On days where I wonder if my situation will change-He gives me Himself.

Because, when it’s all said and done, married or single, joy or sorrow, triumph or failure, Christ is all I have. The status of my current situation will never change that.

Do I still desire marriage and children? Yes, I do. Is it something that I must have to be fulfilled and happy? No, it’s not. Christ has already done that for me.

Are there days that I struggle? Yes. Absolutely. But I have found Him to be faithful and it is from His fullness that I have received grace upon grace.

God cannot give us peace and happiness apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis

 

 

 

 

Home, Sweet, Home

Pfront.jpg

On January 15th of last year I added a new key to my key ring-the key to my very first home. A small, one bedroom condo that fell right into my lap after looking for 8 months.

I had never anticipated that purchasing my first home would be done alone. The plan was to buy a small starter home once I was married and make that decision with someone-it never crossed my mind that I would be making the decisions without a husband.

Of course best laid plans seem to rarely happen as we picture they will. So, I set out at the age of 28 to purchase my first home-alone. And I’ve been here just over a year, making a home that I love.

I’ve often caught myself in the trap of thinking “when I get married, THEN I can start making a home…” Or “once I’m married, I will use my home to bless others and my family.” I used to think this for a long time, until one day I realized (thanks to the ministry of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Revive Our Hearts Ministries) that my life is now. It doesn’t matter whether I’m married or not, I am called to serve and love and show hospitality to those in my sphere of influence now.

So I started to study. I started reading on hospitality and home-making. One of my favorite resources I have used is a book titled “The Life Giving Home” by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, a mother and daughter duo. Sally and Sarah masterfully lay out a vision for creating homes that give life to our family and the guests that enter our doors.

I started casting my own “vision” for my home in what kind of culture I wanted to create:

  • Peaceful
  • Warm
  • Inviting
  • Encouraging
  • Loving
  • Beautiful
  • Comforting
  • Joyful

Underneath this I wrote:

I want a home where all who enter know they are always welcome. They will be loved and encouraged with words and acts of service. The gospel will be talked of and shown through actions. I want people to know that God loves them and that they matter when they enter my door. 

It is my goal that my home be a place of peace and encouragement. A place where the hurried world will be still for a while, and a place where you will know that you are loved not only by me…but by God.

I’m so grateful for this little home and the vision that God gave for its purpose. It’s nothing fancy, it’s not very big, but it has a whole lot of love in it, and you’re very welcome here.