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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Living As God Intended {Trial Truths}

Late last year, I set up some boundaries. Social media boundaries. These boundaries were put in place to protect me. To protect my heart. The hard thing about social media is – the reminder of how different our lives can look like from everyone else’s.

My life looks vastly different from everyone else’s. I could sit here and literally count the ways. But, it doesn’t really benefit my soul to do that. Instead of doing this profitless thing, I need to keep my focus on the Lord and His Word.

Looking to the Word –

But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into. This is my rule for all the churches (1 Cor. 7:17, TLB).

In Scripture, we are reminded that – we can be placed in very different circumstances from others. There is a bigger picture than our circumstances (even the devastating ones), and that is the quality of relationship we have with God through His Son Jesus Christ! Will we allow the Lord to be of greater importance than our painful circumstances?

Some things in my life can make me feel so ashamed, and yet I have to remember it is a “drawing near” tool. While my identity isn’t in my circumstances, these things can help me connect with Christ – who is the Source of my identity.

Whatever your circumstance, I welcome you to my blog. You are welcome here. None of us fit into this perfect box of unbrokenness, for we all face hard things. Let’s just keep coming to our Lord Jesus honestly, and learning how to live for Him.

The circumstances we face can be very tough at times. I love this verse found in 1 Cor. 7, because it honestly shares the truth we need to recite in our daily lives. We need to consider how to live a life for our Lord Jesus, even now. We need to live out the call God has placed on our lives today, rather than waiting for better circumstances.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling inadequate and broken right now. Friend, this is where the Lord will meet you and share with you His presence as you draw nearer to Him.

While I cannot fix your circumstances or even my own, I am here to offer you comfort. The truth is – you are not alone, neither am I. We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ meets us here. In this place. And out of all other places, this is the one where He chooses to reveal Himself the most. . . as we come broken before Him and desperately seeking Him.

Well, that is all I have to share today. But, I will be back soon. Don’t forget to order your journal and prepare your heart – because Monday we begin our newest online Bible study (Press On Toward Faithfulness)!

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Almost Time! {Press On Toward Faithfulness}

Hello my friends!!

Our study is quickly approaching. Press On Toward Faithfulness is our eight week study. I do hope you will join me, as we sit and study the Word of God. Diligently, we will be studying and learning from the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy.

About the Study –

While it is New Testament books we are reading, they are only a few chapters each. And each day, we will be taking it slow and ingesting the treasures of our great God bite by bite. I promise you, the daily readings won’t be too long to read and meditate upon. We will be taking our time walking through these precious chapters.

Our goal here isn’t to see how much of the Bible we can read in one sitting. Rather, our ultimate goal is to allow Christ and His Word to take root in our hearts and change us from the inside-out!

In these books, we are able to gain wisdom from Paul as he counsels two spiritual brothers actively involved in ministry. Titus and Timothy gleaned much needed encouragement, as God spoke to them through Paul. They were encouraged, which helped them stay faithful to what the Lord was leading them to do. Many of us need this kind of encouragement.

Gathering Your Tools –

Our study begins January 15th, so it is just a few short days away. Be sure to grab your eight week Scripture Writing journal, which can be used for this study (or almost any study). It is only $6.25 on Amazon.

Next week, I will reveal our Press On Toward Faithfulness schedule – which we will be using to guide us through our day to day study. While it is a daily study, it will allow us to take in the Scripture piece by piece to get as much as we can – out of this sacred time. Each day, we will uncover new (and even once forgotten) truths that can radically change our perspective of God, ourselves, and show us the steps we need to take – as we place our trust in our Lord Jesus.

Also for those interested: We have a Facebook women’s small group ready to meet and dive into this study in a more personal setting. Consider joining us! But don’t forget about our multiple blog posts – as we go through this study! We will be spending lots of time diving into the Word together, whether it is through the blog or our women’s small group (sorry guys!).

Let’s Pray, Friends –

Lord Jesus, prepare our hearts for this sacred time. So many of us need this time more than words can say, and I know I am one of them. Prepare us physically, emotionally, and spiritually for this study. Help us to be planted in Your divine word and hear from You. As we hear directly from You, help us willfully obey – surrendering everything – so You can move in our lives, communities, and ministries. Be glorified, Lord. Amen!

Talk with you soon, my friends.

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P.S. Thank you for the support you provide, to keep this ministry going! The website link may be changing, so keep an eye out for that – friends. Even when this happen, fear not! The ministry of this blog will press on. The Lord has been providing mightily for all our necessities. I received word that my laptop was no more, but the Lord provided one for me to use.

Our Kind Father {VOTD}

Praise the Lord, my soul! All my being, praise his holy name! Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is (Ps. 103:1-2, GNT).

The past 24 hours was somewhat enveloped in chaos. Things were crazy. Even so there were plenty of moments, where I was reminded of the Holy Spirit. You know, it’s enjoyable to see the Holy Spirit and His fruits (like self control) in action. My faith is not empty, because I could see the result of trusting Jesus and the way He changes how I respond to a tense situation.

In today’s verse, we are reminded to praise the Lord with all our soul and to remember His kindness. The Lord has been abundantly kind toward me. No matter how I have acted, the Lord has chosen to love me through every bit of it. He has shown me what patience and kindness really looks like!

The Lord has been kind to me and allowed me to experience His grace. There have many times in my life where I have acted foolishly, but the Lord protected me in those moments. He has protected me in many ways and displayed His costly love.

The Reminder

While He has taught us through the Bible that He loves us, we can know these aren’t empty words. The Lord has lived out His love for us every moment of our lives. He has chosen to love us and intimately walk with us – even when we make bad decisions.

That’s where my mindset needs to be.
I need to remind myself of the Lord’s love and amazing grace.
The kind of grace that saves, regardless of what we have done.

The Lord Jesus loves and has handpicked us to be His forever treasure. Let’s fix our eyes on Him, and continue to offer Him our praise as worship. His kindness is far greater than we could ever imagine!

Run to the Father

Even when you are going through a tough situation, remind yourself of how the Lord has been faithful to you in the past. The Lord is our loving Shepherd, our Father, and Mighty One. He will lovingly act. As hard as it is, we need to remind ourselves of these truths.

God is described in the Bible as our Father. I know many of us have a rocky history when it comes to fathers, but He is our good good Father who takes thorough care of us. Our heavenly Father won’t leave our side for a moment.

He is the One who is always available and is actually waiting for us to come. He is waiting for us to draw near and be reconciled through His Son Jesus Christ. He is inviting us to come and see who He truly is!

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13, ESV)