IIWK ’16: The Questions

I have chosen something ambitious, crazy, and therapeutic to do. Invisible Illness Week begins tomorrow! Initially, my goal was to set aside seven daily posts – to help shed some light on invisible illness, my struggles, and what has helped me. Sounds good, right?

… But, sometimes, plans change.

While I am still pursuing ideas and blog posts related to invisible illness, I am going to refrain from the daily posts on this particular blog. Here’s why –

I want to try and blog on invisible illness for the entire month of October (over at In My Shoes). A while back, I made a promise to not send more than one blog post per a day. There have been exceptions to this rule of thumb, at times. But, I can’t do that to you guys – for an entire month. This is the reason for switching blogs, concerning this specific new blog series.

So, I am making this challenging adventure separate from what I do on Gracefully Overcoming. It is the same author. The same me. Just sharing a bit more about my life with invisible illness – for those who want to see how I tackle those things  and use it as an opportunity to allow my faith to be stretched – too. After the challenge is over, I will transfer over the posts to Gracefully Overcoming like I did with last year’s challenge.

So, meet me over at “In My Shoes” to join me for this journey! But, before I let you go… I need to ask you a HUGE favor!

I am currently compiling a list of questions to answer each day, and the answers will be shared along with any insight, struggles, hope, joy, sadness, tears, grief, etc, that I have to offer up too.

But, I need something from you- my friend!

Comment Below with a question about…

Invisible illness.

My struggles.

How my faith plays a role in my health issues.

 

… Anything you want.

You can also email your questions directly to me at gracefully.overcoming@gmail.com. I am on a break from social media for the month of October, so please refrain from sending over any questions using those avenues. I would hate to miss your question//message!

Pray for me. I am looking forward to seeing what God decides to do in my life, during this season.

~ Stacey

The Humble Win {{Week 3}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:5 and Psalm 37:11

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth (Matthew 5:5, NLT).

But the meek shall inherit the land
    and delight themselves in abundant peace (Psalm 37:11, ESV).

Devotion

What is humility?

Humility is known as gentleness. This is where the mild seek God. He is where they glean their attitude (see Phil. 2).

What are characteristics of the humble?

The humble win… because they aren’t distracted by the cravings of this world. (Click-to-Tweet)

Their sights are clearly set on God and His Son, Jesus Christ! They want, only what He longs to give them. I wouldn’t consider myself a humble person, but I can see fragments of this in my thought life right now. I am longing for God to pour His truth into me. I need to see and hear from my great God. Good news too, for the believer!

 In James 4:8, 10, we are reminded that when we are drawn near to God and humble ourselves, He meets with us and will lift us up.

Hold onto His promises, friends. As we lean on Jesus and His attitude, we are reminded that we win in the end. Jesus gives us the victory! By seeking God and remaining obedient, we are carving out space in our hearts and lives to be given the victory. But, it only comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ! There is no other way, except through Jesus.

We are invited to humbly walk with God (Micah 6:8).

As we think about humility, we need to come up with a plan of action.

How can we position ourselves to have an attitude like Jesus?

The key is in abiding with Jesus (see John 15).

  1. Stay in the Word of God on a daily basis. In Joshua 1, we are taught to meditate on God’s Word day and night (verses 7-9) . When we meditate on His Word, we know Him more. As we meet with our beloved Savior, He begins to change our hearts by His Holy Spirit. Remember gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  2. Be prayered-up. I need to make sure that I am praying throughout my day,even about the things I feel too broken to share.
  3. Be watchful of my attitude, as I go about my day. I know, I make less wise choices if I am tired. So, I need to do what I can – to make sure I get enough rest.

In order to stay humble, we need to keep seeking Jesus on a daily basis! (Click-to-Tweet)

Lord God, grow me in humility please. Protect me from an attitude of pride. Uproot it , and make me a person after Your own heart and attitude. A person of gentleness. That’s where true victory is found. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Preparing to Serve

It has been one of those weeks.

I need to clear out the spaces in my spirit.

… Tomorrow is Sunday.

The Privilege of Serving Sundays

Sunday is the day, where I am given the abundant privilege to serve God and my brothers and sisters in His family! Don’t get me wrong, we are given opportunities to serve God and His people on a daily basis. But, Sunday’s always feel a bit different than those other opportunities. Perhaps, it’s just me.

For me, Sunday’s are long – yet there is something beautiful about them. It is a time to hear the Word of God faithfully preached, meet with His people, laugh with His people, and to be vulnerable with His people. All of which is actually an opportunity to see God and His handiwork more.

Preparing for Tomorrow

I just want to be prepared for tomorrow. Like I said, interesting week. More like, an interesting “encounter” (since I don’t want to divulge more information, we will leave it there). And, I just can’t get it off my mind. I am wondering what is the next step. I am wondering about a lot of things – actually.

Thankfully, I am talking with my Risen Savior about it. While the thoughts creep in and I can’t imagine vulnerably telling others in a face-to-face conversation, I am sharing it with my great God who already knows what is going on.

Tomorrow, I am given the opportunity to serve. As I look back through my serving posts from this year, I can see how it has been quite a year (something I have meant to write about at some point). I have wondered and wandered about where God wants me to serve. I finally have places, where I am serving. God has been providing this year, because I asked and He answered!

How does one prepare to serve?

  1. Get alone with the Lord. Carve out very specific time, to shut out distractions and seek the Lord (see Exodus 19:3a and Luke 5:16).
  2. Recognize God’s greatness. Pore over Isaiah 40, and remember God’s vastness (see Psalm 77:13-15). Our faith is dependent on what we know about God. Keep remembering the God you serve!
  3. Remember what Jesus has done for you! We can offer up ourselves as a living offering, because of what Jesus has done for us. The mercy of God needs to be our motivation. Keep looking to the cross and His empty tomb. Keep looking to the new life He has given you (see Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21).
  4. Repent of sin. In Scripture, we are reminded that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Because of the God we serve, we can come asking for forgiveness and rest assured that He is faithful and just and will do it (see 1 John 1:9).
  5. Enjoy God’s Presence. Take time to simply rest in Him. Celebrate who God is. Celebrate the kind of relationship God has given you with Himself, through Jesus Christ. Celebrate that God will equip you, to serve Him (see Exodus 33:14; Psalm 16:11, 27:4).
  6. Pour out your heart. Share your heart with God. Tell Him what is going on, right now. Honestly. God sees you. God sees your brokenness. God sees the masks you tend to put on, before you leave the house. God knows what you face. Nothing you can think or say, will shock God. Use this time, to simply be with Him. In the book of Psalms, we are given examples of how people have prayed through their brokenness (see Psalm 13).

I will stop today’s post right here. I have tons to say on brokenness, serving, and other semi-related topics. we will have to pick up where I left off – another time.

Until next time,

Stacey

Poor and Desperate {{Week 2}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:3 and James 2:5

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs (Matthew 5:3).

“Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? (James 2:5)”

Devotion –

We can be considered poor in different aspects of our lives. Yet, there is only one mattering more than most. When we are spiritually poor, this is where it matters the most.

It isn’t until we realize we are in need spiritually, that we can come to Jesus. We have to reach this special place, where we realize we can’t do it on our own. Matthew 5:3 has become a special Scripture in my heart, this week. While I haven’t been able to study as much as I would like, this Scripture continues coming back to my mind.

It is what happens after realizing we are spiritually poor. When we recognize that we are spiritually poor, we are in the place of access. Before we can confidently enter His wonderful place of being forgiven and given a full out all access pass to the Father (see Hebrews 4:16) – something needs to happen.

Before we come to Jesus, we have to realize our need for Him. We are spiritually poor. (Click-to-Tweet)

We have to realize our spiritual need.

We have to realize the place we are in.

We have to realize that we have nothing to offer.

We can never be “good enough” to earn God’s favor on our own.

It is fully through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is why we always always always place our trust in Him, for He is our Savior, Mediator, and Friend.

Knowing our own spiritual poverty is crucial. It is when we recognize our spiritual poverty that we can receive what we are in desperate need of.

Listen to the Easy English translation of Matthew 5:3 –

“How happy are those who are poor in their spirits. They know that they must depend only on God. They belong to the Kingdom of Heaven.”

While it can be devastating to realize our poverty, we have a mighty Redeemer who is ready to save me (you too). You and I cannot neglect the necessity of depending fully on God.

While it may be difficult to realize our poverty, this is where we find Jesus. (Click-to-Tweet)

In Christ…

In Christ, we find life and every need is met. The key is Jesus Christ. We must not forget that God has indeed chosen us and is giving us access into His Kingdom! God has given us the tremendous opportunity to be rich in faith.

The transition from spiritually poor to rich in faith begins with our realization of just how desperate we are for Jesus. We need our Beloved Savior. We have to place our trust in Him for our righteousness. While we aren’t enough, He is more than enough!

While we are not enough, Jesus Christ is more than enough. He is all we need! (Click-to-Tweet)

Lord Jesus, I need you! I know, I am not enough. Be my Savior, for You are more than enough. Your grace is all-sufficient.  Help me to keep drawing my strength and hope from You, where it never ends.  Amen.

See Proverbs 3:5-6

 

“Uninvited” (Lysa TerKeurst)

Recently, I discovered a new book. “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKeurst. This is her newest study to hit stores. I have heard about “Uninvited” for a while, and eagerly awaited an opportunity to get my hands on this book. So, I was ecstatic when I found it out on BookLook (a book reviewing program by her publisher, Thomas Nelson).

The Review

I absolutely love this book! It is such an easy read, engaging as she shares her own experiences, and I can tell you this – you will not want to stop reading it. I have had a hard time putting the book down.

There is just so much in this book, that God is using to speak to me about where I have been and the place I am in now. This book can be used as a “healing balm” given to us by God Himself. In this study, we are reminded of God’s unfailing truths!

Not only is “Uninvited” a book where we are reminded of God’s truth, Lysa shares her heart and struggles concerning rejection too. Lysa, through “Uninvited”, is highly engaging and helps lead us to the One who declares He is for us. In her book, Lysa points us to the fullness of God. It is the place where our healing comes from. It is the place, where we can love others – out of the wells of grace God offers to us.

My Story

Typically, I do not buy DVD studies. This is the second one I have bought over the summer months. “Uninvited” has been a tool I need, as well. I knew I need to buy the additional resources, to help me as I continue to uncover experiences and seek healing.

Through this book, I am learning much about God and what fullness in Him means. I am learning how to live like I am loved. A message I desperately need to hear. I have needed God to shout His message of acceptance, safety, peace, and grace. While we each have a past involving the burden of rejection, it is a weight we don’t have to carry anymore. I am looking forward to diving deeper in this book, through her DVD study and guide.

God is revealing much to me, as I realize scenarios in my life that I have kept hidden. God has much more in store, for us. But, we must exchange the weight of people’s words and actions, for the love God has for each one of us. It is there, where healing is found. We can finally lay it all down at the cross, and begin to move on. We can begin to deal with our thought processes, resulting from years of rejection, and learn how to take our thoughts captive – and experience the beauty of Christ. As we surrender to Him, He is going to do something wonderful, as we remember our rejection scars.

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst’s “Uninvited,” check out this link. (This is an affiliate link. When you use this link, I receive a small earning..)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.