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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

10 powerful truths when your heart needs reminding

...for the days that you need a reminder, here are 10 powerful truths of the goodness of our Lord and Savior, and the weakness of ourselves:

Do you have a favorite go-to quote or verse that reminds you of His grace?  I'd love to hear from you!  Feel free to share in the comments below.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

when life doesn't go as planned

I love schedules.

I love efficiency.

I love planning.

Sometimes, the things I write on this blog--learning them are pure torture for me.

Grace?  Slow?  Quiet?

Yeah, most of the time, I forget...I lose focus...I don't get it.

I want everything planned.

Well, especially when it feels like everybody else's got it figured out.  I want to have it all figured out too!

So from childhood, I've had these plans.  These ideas as to how I think life is gonna go. 

"Sure, I'll grow up, and turn 18, then this will happen, and I'll do this, and this, and this..."

And I even fool myself into thinking...that my way is what will glorify God most.

So as I grow up.  I turn 18.  I turn 21.  Life comes.  

And it's not what I expected.  It's not what I had planned.  

But I can't do anything to change it.

And I even continue the foolery, thinking that if life had gone my way that God would have been glorified more than where I am right now.  Oh, the illusion.

Then I read about Joseph.  A promising boy, 17 years old...sold into slavery by his own brothers.

What about his plans?  What about those vital years of his youth?  He had a vision too!

But Joseph spent a combination of 13 years either in slavery or in prison.  

13.  Years.

156 months.
676 weeks.
4,745 days.
113,880 hours.
6,832,800 minutes.
409,968,000 seconds.


Or was it?

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." ~Genesis 50:20

Joseph recognized that the change in plans in his life, though it was painful, though it was long, was used for the ultimate glory of God in a way that he could not have ever even imagined.  But the thing was, he had to wait.

And he had to be faithful where he was.

He never would have been so trusted by Pharaoh if he had not continued faithful devotion to the Lord, which enabled him to interpret Pharoah's dreams.  And if he had been a rowdy prisoner, or a slacker in his duties in Potiphar's household--would he have even stood a chance in standing before Pharaoh?  

Many, many years later, as he sits in prison, another faithful man pens these words, 

"Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel..." ~Philippians 1:12

The Apostle Paul knew that God's glory was beyond him.  It was beyond his plans, beyond anything that he could ever comprehend.  

So as he sat in jail, he could have been thinking, "I could be talking to so many people about Jesus right now...I could be so much more effective if I wasn't in prison!"

No.  He embraces it, and realizes that God's plan is for His own glory.  God never compromises on His glory.  

Where He has you and me right now is the very best place in the universe that we can ever be used for His glory.  He knows the beginning and the end.  It's His job to guide us to where we can glorify Him most.

Ours is to follow His lead.  And when we're sitting in prison.  Or stuck in one place.  Or working a job we feel stagnant in.  Or feel like we're spinning our wheels on relationships.

Wherever we are, to be faithful and continue seeking His face.

To trust that where we are right now is the absolute perfect place.

The place that we can bring Him the most glory out of all the places in the universe.

Because it's where He has us.  Today.  Right now.

Friday, January 16, 2015

i heart friday: beyond me

This verse spoke to my heart this week.  I know I have referenced it over and over on this little blog, but my heart seems to forget so quickly...

"And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."  ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10


I got a text coming out of work: "Have you heard TobyMac's new song, 'Beyond Me'?"

Such a beautiful reminder...



Ohmygoodnessgracious...this looks amazing.  I just might have to try a batch today. ;)


Isn't this ADORABLE?!  If you have a nerdy family (*cough*maybelikemine*cough*), why leave the littles out?  I would looooove to make one of these for the boys...


This reminder...


I love imagination.
This just warmed my heart.


This just makes me happy...


Okay, now this was just funny...but I wouldn't mind if somebody wanted to get it for me ;)


Thought provoking article...loved The Giver!


And did you get a chance to check out this week's two other posts?

Check it out HERE!

Read this post HERE!

Hope you have an amazing weekend!
What were some of your favorite things from this week?  Please share, I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 songs for the weary heart

Music has a way of speaking to the heart when words fail.

Why is it that music has such a powerful impact on one's mind and soul?  I find that a song can be playing in the background, and the words and ideas about the words will fill my mind--even though I am not even really *trying* to listen to the song!

Deeply rooted from our longing to join in the heavenly, eternal song of "Holy, holy, holy..." I believe that God has given us the gift of music here on earth to give us a tiny glimpse of the beautiful gift that reigns over all of heaven.  The gift of song...the art, the worship.

Today, I have 10 of my favorite songs to share with you for when your heart is feeling worn and weary.

10 songs to lift you up, to remind you of the goodness of God, the power of God, and His overwhelming love.

10 songs, prayers, cries out to the Lord...to remind us that we're not alone.

1. Never Alone, by BarlowGirl

"I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone..."

2. Broken Hallelujah, by The Afters

"I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
On my knees, I call Your name.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken hallelujah."

3. Hold Me, Jesus, by Rich Mullins

"Well sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small
So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace"

4. Promises, by Sanctus Real

"Sometimes it's hard to keep believing in what you can't see
That everything happens for a reason even the worst life brings
If you're reaching for an answer and you don't know what to pray
Just open up the pages, let His Word be your strength..."

5. Lord, I Need You, by Chris Tomlin

"Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You..."

"Never underestimate my Jesus
You're tellin' me that there's no hope
I'm tellin' you, you're wrong
Never underestimate my Jesus
When the world around you crumbles
He will be strong, He will be strong..."

7. Never Left Your Side, by Stellar Kart

"So you feel another midnight on the way
Can’t see the road ahead
Though you’re wide awake
All the voices in your head begin to say
You’re alone, you’re alone

The sun’s still shining through the night
The stars still burn in the daylight
Sometimes you just can’t trust your eyes
I never left your side..."

8. 5 Minutes at a Time, Superchick

"Life is hard, but it's been a little harder than usual lately
I wish I knew why I am struggling through this
What makes it harder is the lack of understanding on my part
Could I have changed this, why am I fighting life so hard?"

9. It's Not Over Yet, by for King and Country

"They are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won't get past this one
You won't win your freedom

It's like a constant war
And you want to settle that score
But you're bruised and beaten
And you feel defeated

This goes out to the heaviest heart..."

10. Still That Girl, by Britt Nicole

"Dreams, they come
Plans, they change
Yea, we're gonna break
Yea, we're gonna break
Things we face make us who we are
Baby, you're a star shining in the dark
Let's go back to the summer, summer when
We dreamed in love, let's go back again
Let's go back again
Yeah, back again, my friend..."

What songs speak to your heart and lift you up?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

when you're tired of just surviving

Survival mode.

Everybody has experienced it at one point or another.

For some, it's a season that comes and goes.

For some, it's every day.

Lately, it's felt like every day for me.  It's like I'm trying to fit everything in.

I wake up, and the rush begins.  Every moment spent just trying to get through the day.  Just trying to make it to evening.  Just.  Trying.  To.  Make.  It.  Through.

Survival mode.  I know it all too well.  I sit here and feel sorry for myself. 

I want to thrive!  I'm tired of merely making it through the day.  I want to MAKE each day something special.

I sag as I continue my survival charade, this dance that I know the steps all too well.

Until it hits me.

Yes, it's all survival mode.

Because my very survival is hinged on the grace found in every moment.

My year's word comes to mind: breathe.  As I realize, YES--this is survival mode.  But every day is for everyone else is, too.  It's how I choose to SEE.  

As I fold laundry a few minutes before I need to rush out the door, my shoulders sag.  If only I could get this done faster!  Have time to do better things!

And I forget the ordinance of God.  That my very survival depends upon His grace--and every moment that I spend breathing His grace is ordained by Him.  I forget that He ordained that I would be folding that laundry.  That I would run out the door in those few moments.  That I would spend all that time in the car driving.  That I would go work a few hour or a long hour shift.  That I would have to eat a PB&J on my dinner break, because I didn't have time to make anything else. 

And my perspective begins to change, as I ponder.  

And I begin to SEE... from God's perspective, He's given me all I need to thrive!  

From my human perspective, I have a hard time grasping...because it's not what I think I need to thrive.  I want more.  Of course!  More.

But He whispers gently, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

He always gives me enough to thrive. He is enough.  Even when it looks like I'm in survival mode, it's what He has given me to thrive, what am I going to do with it?  How am I going to make the most of this grace that He has afforded me?

While I fold, I can pray and sing.

When I'm sitting in the car, driving, I can listen to sermons.

I can be God's love to everyone that I meet on my shift, short or long.

I happen to love PB&Js.

Survival mode is enough to thrive.   His grace is sufficient for me.

Grace is enough.

Friday, January 9, 2015

i heart friday

Some of my favorite things around the web this week, thought I'd share them with you!


Loved this...

"I’m 43 years old for one more month and my passion for running has morphed into a full blown obsession...I want to push my body and my mind. I want to test my spirit. I want to see what's possible. Mostly, I'm looking to go beyond the limits placed on me, mostly by custom. I’ve set many lofty goals and failed at many. Well, failed so far. I am actually not freaked out about this coming behemoth of a task. I'm totally stoked. Flex leg, deep breath in my airplane seat. It'll probably hold up. 
I’m 43 years old for one more month and my passion for running is a full blown obsession.
Walt Disney World Marathon 2015
The Dopey Challenge -- 48.6 Miles in 4 Days"

So inspiring.  To push one's body and mind.  To press the boundaries, to see what is really possible...


Mind blowing:

"The heavens declare the glory of God..." 
The earth and universe echo with the sound of His voice, the touch of His fingerprints.


This will probably not be the last time that you see the Pevensies on here...but this picture just absolutely gets me.  One of my favorite characters in all literature (and film, for that matter) is Peter Pevensie.

His devotion to looking after his siblings, his steadfast heart, his bravery...and as they so beautifully depicted in the film, his humility. His loyalty to Aslan and his siblings by always putting them first, but yet, we all know that he's broken, he's got a little bit of a temper, and he might not be quite as brave as he wants everyone to think.  But that's another one of the reasons that I love him.


To follow up, I did find this little gem this week as well:

Isn't that the cutest?!

So I was looking up some Disney costume ideas for the little sisters, and I came across these...

Aren't they adorable?? I want to make them so badly!


Story inspiration:

What comes to your mind?


What a great printable! 

What better way to start your year than with a goal of hiding 50 of His most prominent passages in your heart?


Don't ever forget who you are...


Does this not look amazing???

I think I may add some recipe goals to my list! :P


This gorgeous Etsy print:

Echo the words from one of my favorite songs...


Found this; made me laugh...hard. :D

Doesn't it feel good to laugh?  No wonder it is called medicine for the soul...


And last but not least...

This week I was able to get some AHS gear out there!  What do you think?

And that wraps up this first week of i heart friday!  Hope you enjoyed it.  

Do you have some favorite picks from the week?  Let me know in the comments, or better yet, blog about it, and post the link below for everyone else to see too!

Be blessed, my dear readers!  I hope you have a wonderful Friday and a peaceful weekend! <3

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

breathe {2015}

When the world seems so big.

I feel small.

These hands.  They're small. (Literally.)

This heart can only hold so much.

Seasons change.  The world turns 'round.

And I struggle and kick.  I want things to stay.

Breathe.  He whispers to me.

I fold my small hands that can only grasp so much.

I fall on these small knees that can only stride so far.

I bow this head that only thinks so much.

And close these eyes that can only see so far.

I can feel this heart thrum.

Beat.  Beat.  Beat.

Slow, steady, rhythm of heaven.

Beat.  Beat.  Beat.

This heart, can only hold so much love, dependent upon the Author of Love itself.

At His command, the core of my being jumps with joy at the life it brings.  Each leap, His order.  Each drop of blood that it stirs, life and love, racing through my veins.

I inhale.  I exhale.  I breathe His breath, from His very mouth.  The continuation of the first breath of life He breathed into Adam.  But Adam fell, and He had to make a way that we might keep His breath.

Now, every breath I take in is courtesy of the blood poured down from that hill.

Every breath I take in.  Every beat of my heart.  Grace.

I am often tempted to rush.  Efficiency is one of my favorite things.  But as I ponder the wonder of something so simple, oft taken for granted as a breath or a heartbeat, I realize that when I rush through life--I miss it.  I miss the simplicity of grace.  I turn around, I'm a few years older--and I may have gotten a couple of 'accomplishments' under my belt.  Have I thanked Him for the breath He gave me to do it?  Are they worthy of the gifts that He gave me for that moment?

My word of 2015 is breathe.

That I might not forget how I am ever dependent upon His grace for my very life, the very beating of my heart.  What am I doing with the thousands of breaths and beats that He graces me with every day?