Remain Open To Instruction

Remain Open To Instruction

There Is Always Something New To Learn

Well, I finished my Bible Study Fellowship class last week. We spent the year in Matthew. I have to be honest. I wasn’t thrilled to study through Matthew. I am not sure why I felt that way. It could have been because I have read through it before. I am ashamed to admit I thought this would be a boring year. But, boy, I was wrong.

It was such a great book to sit and soak in for me at the stage of life I was in this past year. I learned to name my emotions, recognize my numbing triggers, and process my feelings. It has been quite a year. This book was a very emotional read this time around. I have never experienced Jesus like I did this year. I have never fallen more in love with the person he is or felt the weight of the crucifixion as I did this year.

It was tough towards the end, and I realized I did not want to read the betrayal and crucifixion. So I found myself procrastinating and even dreading it. But, as accountability does, I had to work through it, and it was intense. The best part was how it lined up with resurrection day. It brought it to life, especially for my kids.

I was also able to teach the kid’s version to my boys in our homeschool class, and I cannot tell you how amazing it was. They enjoyed reading and learning about Jesus, and they both decided to accept Jesus into their hearts. They have already shown me they have discernment. I am in awe of how the Lord moves in their little world.

Reading Matthew like this, spending nine months in the book, has been a blessing. If you have never tried an in-depth bible study like this, I recommend it!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

You Are What You Say

I have been trying to drive this point home to my boys lately. My youngest can be very hard on his older brother. I am teaching them to help each other shine rather than diminish their flame. This week’s verse is Luke 6:45.

Luke‬ ‭6:45‬‬, A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

It can be hard in the heat of an angry moment, but It’s important to remember to speak positively and encourage others. It’s so easy to slip and let your anger flow, but we need to pray that God would change our heart and make it more like his so we won’t get angry and have slip-ups. I want my heart and mouth only to flow good things, full of love.

This week let’s meditate on this verse and make a point to encourage those around us, even if it’s a difficult interaction. You never know how much a kind word is needed!

Healing Comes First

Healing Comes First

First Comes Love, Then Comes The Therapist

I have noticed a disturbing theme in the news and social media. That theme is dysfunctional relationships. Of course, I know that people have had dysfunctional relationships forever. Still, we live in a time where people’s quarrels play out in front of the world, whether it’s celebrities in courtroom dramas or your average social media over-sharer. Whatever the case, it is necessary to point out how important it is to heal from our traumas before forming relationships with people.

I can speak from experience. I have lived in extreme toxicity and have been a very toxic person myself. However, I can look back at my shameful behavior through my healing, which is still very fresh and new, and see it for precisely what it is. Though I thought I was right in my behavior at the time, I can now see that I was acting out of trauma and letting my emotions erupt and spew uncontrollably.

I have seen marriages and relationships in the news lately, and it sickens me to watch. I recognize some of the toxic traits and behaviors. What stands out overall is people’s emotional immaturity. I got married in the church and partook in premarital counseling. I can see how this can be helpful to two people who are emotionally mature and have done some trauma healing. Unfortunately, that was not my case.

I wish I had known more about myself at that time. I wish I knew more about why I was getting married, who I was marrying, and what traumas we both were dragging into this marriage with us. I wish someone stopped and shook me and said, “Stop! You both need to go to therapy first, work on yourself, and then come back together and do couples counseling.”

I think this approach would weed out a lot of bad marriages from occurring and strengthen marriages that blossom out of healing. I know, that not everyone is up for therapy, and how they respond in therapy also would depend on where they are in their emotional maturity. Still, I think it could shine a light on many areas that get overlooked and glossed over in premarital counseling, which lead to significant problems as the marriage progresses.

My husband and I have had our fair share of drama, and we are in a much healthier place than we have been. We have been together a long time and have grown tremendously, but I can say that healing before would have saved us a lot of heartbreak warfare.

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Be Sweet On The Inside

This week I want to start on a positive note. I want to focus on the goodness that blooms from within when we live God’s way. So our verse this week is Galatians 5:22.

Galatians 5:22 "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."

I saw a sign that said, “In the morning, give me coffee and Jesus” I think I need a double portion of both! I am not always the most loving, joyful, patient person, especially if I haven’t had coffee yet. But since we house the Holy Spirit, he will help us be better. Like coffee, He warms our souls!

I like the way this verse is written in The Message bible.

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

I do not think I could explain it better. If you are struggling in any of these areas, it may be a sign you need a dose of vitamin GOD. I prescribe you open up your bible, put on some worship music, and spend some time basking in his glory! And maybe have a cup of joe.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Choosing Vulnerability

Choosing Vulnerability

Bruné Browns Advice for Living Whole Heartedly

Well, it is no secret I took time away from my blog. I have talked about my issues with authenticity and emotional detachment. I am seeing a therapist now, and I have made great strides. I can feel my emotions! She recommended a book by Brené Brown called, The Power of Vulnerability.

I can’t say this journey has been easy. I have never been able to accept that feelings are normal and not a sign of weakness. So when I looked for the book and saw it was an almost 7-hour long audiobook, I said, no way am I listening to some chick speak about vulnerability for 7 hours! I did, though, find a Ted Talk that was only about 20 mins long, and I thought to myself, what a great alternative!

The Ted Talk was excellent. Brené blew me away. She was fun and relatable, and she despised vulnerability as much as I did. But, she made excellent points and convinced me that I needed to buy the audiobook.

I am so glad I did. I learned so much about myself. I have come to find out that I avoid all feelings, even happiness, and joy. I also learned that I am vulnerable in ways I didn’t know. I also discovered the shields I use against vulnerability and how to recognize when I do so and change my practice.

Brené gives mantras to help you manage challenging situations, and I have shared them several times with my family and friends. She encourages us to make our mantras as well. One that I have written on a note on my computer says, “I am not responsible for other people’s emotions.” I need that reminder often. One of hers I love and use is, “Choose discomfort over resentment.”

I took so many notes, and I will be reading more of her work. If you struggle with any vulnerability or confidence problems, I recommend this book. I could go on all day about the things in this book, but I linked the Ted Talk below as a sample.

Have you read any of Brené Brown’s books?

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Delighting In The Lord.

I read this week’s scripture the other day, and I thought it was beautiful. So I have been working on memorizing it. The bible tells us the Lord delights in us, but do we take the time to delight in him? So this week, our scripture is Psalms 27:4.

Psalms 27:4, The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord's perfections and meditating in his Temple.

When I was little, I had a very skewed view of God. I feared God would send me to hell if I did wrong. I remember thinking it would be impossible for me to be good enough living in the world. So I wanted to be a nun because I thought it would be easier if I lived a life devoted to God without distraction. I didn’t have much Godly instruction growing up, but I did have one thing right. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.

I know now that my salvation is not based on my actions but on the work of Christ on the cross. My life is far from a quiet, distraction-free existence of servitude, but it is still essential for me to find quiet time to delight in my Lord. I need to be in His presence. It’s home to me.

This week let’s seek most to be in the presence of God, meditating in his word, and delighting in his perfections!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

He Has Risen!

In honor of our Lord and Savior and the resurrection holiday we all just celebrated this week, I want to focus on Matthew 28:6. I usually use the New Living Translation, but I am using the New International Version this week. I think the wording is more profound in this case.

Matthew 28:6, "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."

First of all, the good news was that our Lord was not there. He had risen. Our whole faith is rooted in these words, in the belief that Jesus conquered death on that cross. And the following words, “Just as he said he would.” So faithful, so trustworthy. Our Lord said he would, and he did. Jesus is a promise keeper. Let’s meditate on that this week.

I hope you all have a blessed week!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

With God All Things Are Possible

This week, my encouragement is from Matthew 19:26. “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

In this chapter of Matthew, we can read about how Jesus was telling the disciples how hard it is for a rich man to get into heaven. He tells them it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The scriptures say the disciples were astounded and asked who in the world could be saved? Jesus replies with our verse. With man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

With God all things are possible. Isn’t that incredible? We need to remember it is not by what we do that we are saved but by what Jesus did. We will struggle, but even when we fall short, Jesus is there. Jesus loves us, he already paid our debt, He will never leave us. Jesus picks us up and makes it possible for us to move forward. Jesus makes it possible for us to find joy and contentment so we can do better. He redeems us, and He makes all things possible.

I hope this scripture brings you encouragement this week!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Pure Thoughts

This week, I remind myself to keep my thoughts fixed on Jesus and good things. I am repeating Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Isn’t it amazing to think that we can please the Lord just by having good thoughts? Our thoughts can determine the course of our day. But, we also have the power to bring life or death with our words, not only for ourselves but to everyone we meet. Our thoughts and words have so much power, so we have to direct them towards Jesus actively. I also really love saying, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. It makes me feel close to Him, like a term of endearment. I find my rest in Him. He is my rock.

Keep your thoughts fixed on Him this week, and see the fruit you will bear!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Power Over Temptations

This week my mediation verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

I love this verse as it has helped me often and when I am in the throes of temptation I hear the still small voice in the back of my head repeating these words to me. We all deal with temptation from time to time. But, no matter the scope of the lure itself, we can rest assured knowing that our Lord is bigger and stronger. He gives us the power to overcome, so we can quickly look for that exit and beeline to the door!

I hope this scripture will encourage you this week! If you enjoyed the wallpaper from last week, I added it again.