February Goals {& My “Why”}

In December, my goal was to practice Titus 2:5 in my own life. Honestly? =] Still working on it. Some days, it is more reflected in my attitude and choices than others. To add onto Titus 2:5, Philippians 1:27 is this month’s focus.

Women are “ to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:5, ESV).”

Click here for full passage.

“Above all else, you must live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. . . (Phil. 1:27, CEV).”

Do

  • Continue to cultivate a plant based way of eating, which is helping POTS a lot! My goal is to get back on track 100%. It’s been four months, but I can keep going strong and get better at it. IE) Make sure to have good food on hand like baked sweet potatoes. Prepare for intense temptation, when out.
  • Continue our Pressing On Toward Faithfulness study and blog series. God is speaking loudly through these sacred time, and showing me His presence. How could I miss this?!? 
  • My #OneGoal is still the same: to draw nearer to the Lord, despite health “flare up’s”. I need to keep “showing up” for this quality time with my loving Savior.

Learn

I want to learn how to live a stronger faith in our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, despite the hardships I face.

Read

I have several books on my “to read” list!

Blessed are the Misfits by Brant Hanson
Anchored In by Micah Maddox
Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

Be . . better

I just feel like things are messier than they need to be. These are my goals for Feb, and I want them to lead me into a closer relationship with the Lord. Things just feel messy right now due to poor choices.

Yet, I know the Lord Jesus is here. He is reminding to just not give up. He is giving me the strength to keep moving and tearfully cry out to Him. He is reminding to just hang onto Him and His precious words! . . . Because He is working in the midst of the pain.

Lately, my heart has been holding onto Psalm 23, where the Lord declares that He is my Shepherd and He is the One to restore my achy soul.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me (Ps. 23:1-4, CSB).

My why is simple: If I can feel better, I want to. I want to be able to function at a better level. And if routines and way of eating help me to do this, then, I want to do this.

This is partly about wellness, but it is about something else too: Obedience. I want to honor the Lord in what I say and do, including eating, reading, and all things.

In Him,

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Struggles | Verse | Faith {POTF}

For the past week and a half, I have found myself in quite a struggle. One that’s harder to attempt explaining, especially with messed up health vitals.

Anyway, today’s quiet time got off to a late start. Several hours late. But, I did get to my #OneGoal, which is to just come nearer to the Lord. To have my purposeful quiet time, where I meet with my Beautiful Savior.

Today, I am addressing a problem I have. I don’t do well with “pouring out my heart” before the Lord. I am not sure why. I mean, He is with me 24/7. He knows me. He sees the hurting going on, behind closed doors.

So today was about my struggles. It was a time of giving voice to my inward struggles – the one I want to pretend is invisible and emotionally painless. But it does hurt. It hurts when I arise, and my heart rate shoots up to mid 100’s with a low blood pressure. It hurts when I stand again and become so dizzy, tricky to stand  without falling over, weak, and wondering if I will make it to the bed in time. It hurts. And, it is life affecting. What’s more, it is soul affecting.


Our Memory Verse –

Earlier this week, my heart just wanted to know how to survive this “flare up”. I just wanted to know how to hang onto my faith during this time of struggling on multiple levels. And today, I found my answer to the “hanging on” part of things.

Which leads me to our memory verse – 1 Timothy 1:19

“You will be faithful and have a clear conscience. Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn’t listen to their consciences (CEV).”

Friends, let’s keep digging into our Bible’s and pouring out our hearts to our Risen Lord. He is listening. He is waiting for us to open that door, and allow Him to come in.

Keep drawing near, and allowing your faith in Jesus Christ to progress – even when life gets hard. Keep reaching out for His hand, and allow Him to catch you.


Our Mini – Study

I invite you to join me in 1 Timothy. We will be reading 1:1-7. After my time of “collapsing” at our Savior’s feet, I opted to do a bit of bullet point note taking. As we start 1 Timothy, we are met with key points from Titus. The Lord is boldly speaking to us, friends.

Nuggets of Truth –

(A) Friends, Jesus Christ is our Savior and place of hope. Let’s choose to really know and experience Him for ourselves! Because, Jesus Christ – our Beloved Savior is what makes the difference in our lives. Remember His planted grace, mercy, and peace!

More than better circumstances, we desperately need to draw nearer and enter into this beautiful relationship we can have with our Savior Jesus Christ! He alone is what makes the difference.

(B) Remain obedient to the Lord, wherever He sends you. Trust God, knowing He’s working, and choose to obey Him. Teach His Bible based truth. Spread the Gospel and the love only He can give! Keep on loving others. This is our ultimate goal!

(C) Avoid controversies, and promote the Lord and His Work – not what is “trending” in your environment or social media feeds.

[Don’t] pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith (1 Tim. 1:4, CSB).

Friends, it’s all worship. Even if we can’t open our Bible’s, even if we struggle to move, let’s just keep making movement toward our Risen Lord. Even if it’s imperfect and seems infantile compared to where we were two years ago. Just keep reaching out for Him and spend your heart in worship. It’s all meaningful. Time spent (energy too) with our Lord Jesus is never wasted!

Our eight week journal is still available on Amazon (& other online stores) for $6.25! Along with many other Bible study journals ranging from Ephesians to Matthew 4-7 to the beautiful Psalms of Ascent. Be sure to check ’em out, and help support Gracefully Overcoming.

Learning with you,

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Fearing Bad News (Summer ’17)

Tonight’s verse is written out to meet me where I am. This is not to exclude the men who stumble upon my little blog. Remember: God wants to meet each of us where we are.


[She] does not fear bad news; [She] confidently trusts the Lord to care for [her]. [She is] confident and fearless and can face [her] foes triumphantly (Ps. 112:7-8, NLT).

In our lives, we will face difficult days. All of us will, no exemption allowed. We will face difficult days, even more so as people who want to follow our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel of John (ch. 14-15), I am reminded of this message: Because I follow Jesus Christ, I can expect difficult days. Also, I can experience the Holy Spirit and His peace in every season of life.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17, ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (vv. 27).”

This is why I can experience difficult days, yet not fear those same difficult days (or worse days). Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, is the One with whom we have allowed our souls to be intertwined with. It is none other than King Jesus. We have allowed Jesus Christ, the King of the world, to enter our souls and to be one with.

For the follower of Jesus Christ, we have joined ourselves with our Creator in an unbreakable bond that lasts for eternity.

I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, and allow Him into the deepest parts of my life. Although life is unpredictable, I can rest in knowing He doesn’t change. Although my health and relationships may greatly change from one season to the next, my God never changes His mind about me. He has chosen me to be His very own!

What have I to fear? I have Jesus Christ on my side. He is standing with me, giving me the strength to fight my Goliath’s.

While I may battle anxiety and fear, I have nothing to fear with God on my stand. Through this special relationship, I know Him and that He continues to hold me close through life’s difficulties.

This world may shake me to my core, but it cannot take away my faith in Jesus Christ. My foundation in Jesus Christ is essential. When I allow my life to be built upon Jesus Christ, I will be never find myself in “the wrong place” like I will – when I allow my choices and relationships to be built upon my own heart’s desires that often lead me astray.

In Christ’s grace I stand,

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Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand (Rom. 5:2a, AMP).

My Pursuit of Forgiveness {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

In Colossians 3, we are reminded of the glorious hope found in Jesus Christ. We are made spiritually alive, through our Risen Savior. There is excitement in our new life, but we can become hesitant on topics like “forgiving others”. We are kind of like the Israelites in that sense, learning we can’t take our old life habits with us.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (vv. 13, TLB).

Why We Forgive

This isn’t something we can dance around. Forgiving others is an important struggle to endure, especially as we look to Christ who is our Source of hope. God has forgiven us of so much. He has gone through unimaginable pain to fix the relationship we have with Him. This is such a gift, friends.

We are given the opportunity to experience God’s power as we trust and obey Him in forgiving others.

While the world teaches us to hold a grudge, God has a very different take on forgiveness. We are commanded to forgive others, even when they have badly hurt us. God’s way is much different than how we likely used to think. God urges us to forgive and even tells us that “our heavenly Father won’t forgive us, if we don’t forgive others.”

The forgiveness we have received through Christ, should prompt us to forgive others. How can we experience the tender mercy of God, but not share it with others? A changed heart is what happens, as we experience the Gospel.

Friends: Keep fighting to honor God in your relationships. As we obey God by forgiving those who hurt us, we are choosing to put our faith in Jesus Christ before our pride (or emotions). In the Bible, God teaches us how to handle difficult relationships – which brings many blessings with it.

My Story

As I look back at relational conflicts, I am reminded of the heartache and pressing need to obey God by choosing forgiveness.

If we want God’s blessing and protection over our relationships, we have to be willing to obey His Word.

Partnership with God is what made the difference in my life. Things can get so messed up, but God is the One who restores as we continue following Jesus in the hard things. Forgiving others isn’t something I can do, but is made possible with Jesus Christ. He is the One who forgives and shows us how to really love others – with His strength.

God has responded to me in forgiveness – at the moment when I needed it the most. God’s grace isn’t based on our actions, but the heart of God that lovingly pursues us no matter how far we run. This is why we can forgive, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Honest in Community {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps, you can relate. I wholeheartedly believe in the truth we will look at today. I firmly believe we, as the Church, need to be honest with one another. So this is what I attempt to do, but it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped. This, I know. Why do I keep doing it? I wholeheartedly believe in trusting my Lord Jesus and obeying what He teaches us in His Word. Today, our truth is found in Ephesians 4:25 –

Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves (TLB).

We are the family of God, Church. Yet for some compelling reason, we are busy fiddling with less important things that overshadow our priority for His Church – our spiritual family. Shouldn’t expressing honesty within our spiritual family be a given? I love this translation of the Scripture. When we don’t obey God in this, we are hurting ourselves. We need to love one another, and use our honesty as a way to do this.

We are urged to draw near to God in James 4:8. There is a lot of distance between church family members. It’s rare to see an Act 2 friendship, where there is gut-wrenching honesty and closeness. This closeness, this community, is no stranger to my blog posts. As you all know, this community is one I crave. But, it will not exist – unless we begin to express honesty in our conversations with one another.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given – to simply be honest. While honesty brings a multitude of emotions, which is no easy task to handle, it is better than the option of running away. We have been given such a precious gift in our relationships with one another. Let’s take the time to cherish the Christian community we have been given.

As Ecclesiastes reminds us, we desperately need one another. We don’t know how fierce of a battle someone is facing, unless they share. I have been doing loads of “sharing” on Facebook. While I may not get “likes” or “comments,” I firmly believe I am doing my part in sharing honesty like this one –

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I am obeying God. What others do with the content of sheer honesty is up to them, but I am joyfully, gratefully, and sorrowfully giving this over to God and being honest in how well (or unwell) I am doing – with my Summer. I am absolutely resolving to honor God, by sharing. I am not going to lie and pretend things are all sunshine and roses, unless (of course) they are.

When we share our honesty with one another, as the Church, we are giving God ample room to work in and through us. If we want to see God’s power in action, it is time to put away the lies and hurting ourselves by doing so.

In Christ,

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