In the Season of Growing

So it’s been a while since you’ve seen me around here.  It’s been a season of growing, and quite honestly I didn’t expect it to be like this. We have to find a new home.  Our landlord, a good one though he is, has increased our rent to an amount that is well above our breaking point, so we started house hunting in this market where owning is actually cheaper than renting.  I don’t know about where you live, but here, we’ll be saving around $400 a month just by paying a mortgage.  It’s kind of crazy. We started out … Continue Reading →

Making Space for God

Somehow it is January. Somewhere around December 20 I realized that I would not get to finish a lot of things I wanted to accomplish before the end of the year.  I decided it was okay. I didn’t finish reading through my Advent devotionals this year, so I am reading the rest of them now.  I realize that God’s timing is perfect, and just because Christmas has just passed us again doesn’t mean that He doesn’t have a message for me in those devotionals. So I opened one up tonight before bed. And there it was.  This was a message … Continue Reading →

Intentionality in Marriage

Two weeks ago I started attending a Bible study at my church led by some dear friends.  The study is geared for younger married couples, and so far they are nailing it.  Both of the last two weeks I have walked away with a lot to think and pray about, a lot of notes, and some good meaty truth to chew on. This week we looked at the passages in Mark 10:35-45, John 13:1-17, and Philippians 2:1-8 and discussed the passages, and while I listened the Lord really spoke to me. I have been reading a book about prayer called, The … Continue Reading →

Intentional Joy: Temporal vs Eternal

One has to be intentional to choose joy.  It doesn’t readily come to everyone, although I suppose some are more naturally inclined to be joyful than others. As I continue to focus on joy this year, the Lord continues to teach me simple and profound truths about joy that I pray will penetrate my heart and change my life for His glory as a result.  He has shown me that there are hindrances that can keep me from joy and there are promoters of joy that can increase it in my life and in the lives of those around me. … Continue Reading →

Joyful Submission

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21 NIV) “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.  A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” – Martin Luther What does it mean to submit to one another or to be subject to them?  Submission is a giving up or yielding to another authority.  Of course, my ultimate submission needs to be to the Lord.  When I am submitting myself to His loving ways and trusting in Him, I will be more ready to submit to others as an outward … Continue Reading →

Intentional Humility

Humility is one of the words that has been hanging out in my mind lately.  I think it has to do a lot with my focus this year on joy and simplifying.  True thanksgiving leads us to humility because we recognize that He is the Giver.  This then leads to true joy because joy comes from experiencing the goodness and unfailing love of God.  When we humble ourselves before Him, we are free to experience this. “The quiet song of gratitude… lures humility out of the shadows because to receive a gift the knees must bend humble and the hand must … Continue Reading →

Freedom For The Not Forgotten

In the middle of studying Leviticus my thoughts somehow lead me to the women and children who feel alone, who are mostly alone. No one to care for them.  No one to remember them. I can’t remember how my thoughts brought me here, but I stay anyway. I think of the poor children who are abused.  The ones sold, traded, violated, abandoned.  The emotions they know are so much deeper, more painful, than I’ve ever known. God rescue them.  You care! I look out the window and see wind blowing fuchsia plants around, and I think of their frail bodies, frail spirits … Continue Reading →

Intentional New Year Goal #3: Simplify

We used to live in a very small home, and I consistently had to go through things and purge in order to make sure we didn’t have a cluttered home.  There was little storage, so we either used what we had and had a place for it, or it went to someone else’s home.  This put me in a regular mindset of simplicity, at least in this area of my life. Once we moved, my husband and I were determined to continue that mindset.  One way we would do it was by not filling up every closet, drawer, and cabinet. … Continue Reading →

Intentional New Year Goal #2: Joy

I learned a lot last year.  Some of those lessons I were not ones I volunteered to learn, and I still don’t like them.  However, I am thankful for the Lord’s faithful, gentle, and loving instruction and comfort in those hard lessons.  There is always so much more to learn. Last week I received an email from Life Your Way, which is a really neat blog full of practical helps and insights for “intentional and creative living” (right up my alley!).  The post in the email was about a movement called One Word 365, which is about choosing “One word … Continue Reading →

Intentional New Year Goal #1: Chronological Bible Reading

I love the new year.  I love January almost as much as I love December.  December I love because of Advent, Christmas, and closing out a year hopefully by assessing it and determining what to do the same and what to do differently the next year.  January I love because of the freshness of a new chance.  For me, the new year brings new potential, new hope, and new goals. Last year I accomplished only two of my five resolutions.  However, I am not discouraged because actually my goals did change a bit throughout the year.  Plus I realized that … Continue Reading →