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9.11.2017

Unavailable

Have you ever felt alone? Not just lonesome, but you were physically and emotionally alone. Empty. Forsaken and forgotten? There was nobody who was there for you. You felt like there was no one who could help solve the issues on your heart.

Have you ever felt this way with God? Like he was unavailable. Like you were getting that automated voicemail where your calls felt like they were being left and placed in an overflowing surplus of messages, either waiting to be opened or left to be deleted. Sometimes it feels like God is so far away and we missed the "Sorry we're closed" announcement.

Sometimes the moments of silence and waiting can feel like they drag on endlessly and we wonder "How long?" It feels like we can't take another moment of silence and we question God's purpose for the circumstances we are enduring.

Although at times I truly do question what God's up to and if He's really there, I have this promise that He always hears us. Sometimes the greatest faith is believing that God is working amidst the piercing silence that overtakes His quiet whisper that He has indeed never left us. I have grown to find that even when the silence lingers longer than ever, that there will be and end. I have hope that God is using this time of resounding quietness to draw me closer to Him. When others are unavailable it leads me to one Someone that I know I can always run to. Someone who always welcomes and accepts me. Someone who I can reveal myself with and not feel ashamed or misunderstood. God is always available. He's never "Gone for the weekend" or giving us the cold shoulder. He's always wanting our best and He's always attentive to our pleas for help. He's always working through our circumstances, no matter how big or small.

Others will let us down. They won't always be there for us. It's a fact of life, but God will never leave our side and He will pull us through in due time. It may not be easy. It might feel like the silence and the waiting is tearing us apart, but it's strengthening us when we look to God for help. We may not be able to do it on our own, but with God's continual help and perseverance we know we can get through it together.

9.06.2017

Free Devotional Magazine Giveaway



I wanted to do something special on my blog and give away one free copy of my newly released magazine study "Armored Against the Enemy." It is a 33 page, 7 day study, focusing on the armor of God and how we can use it to defeat the enemy. Each day focuses on one of the seven pieces of armor and includes application and Scriptural references for encouragement.

Giveaway Details:


Magazine Details:

– 5″ x 8″ saddle stitched binding
– 33 pages
– Glossy print in full color

View Regular Priced Item Details >>


Active Dates: 9/7/2017-9/18/2017

Click the button below to enter your name and email to win the magazine. I will select a name at random and will reach out to the winner directly notifying them that they have won the magazine and also to request their address for mailing purposes.

 

9.03.2017

Satisfaction [Enough Study]

DEFINITION:


"
the fulfillment of a desire"


As mentioned in the definition above satisfaction is finding fulfillment in something or someone. Often times we allow our satisfaction to be met in various things. Material possessions. People. Success. Thoughts. The list could go on. Satisfaction is something that can make us feel good, but it can quickly dissipate when we focus our attention in the wrong areas.




Although we may feel satisfied with our current circumstances, it doesn't mean that we are effectively finding true satisfaction. True satisfaction comes from God. It is when we can look at our circumstances, no matter how dark or unclear, and know that God is working. It is when we go through the worst of days and remember that our mistakes and failures don't define us. It is when it seems all the world rejects you but you can find peace in knowing you'll always be accepted by your Creator.

Sometimes the world gets such a hold of me and drags me down a road of doubt and deception. It causes me to harbor on negativity and all the things that are going wrong in my life. It is here that I need to stop and refocus. It's easy to get caught up in all the things I dislike about my life, but it's well worth the extra effort when I take the time to focus on all that God has blessed me with.

What I have found most helpful in finding satisfaction in God is remembering His character. He never will fail or forsake us. He will always provide just what we need in the perfect timing. He is working even when we can't see it. We're never forgotten or put on hold. He loves us no matter how bad we've messed up. We may be flawed, but God loves us and always accepts us in. We're never rejected or cast aside. We're never too messed up or too broken to be used by Him. Remembering these truths has helped me when this world couldn't satisfy the unmet desires on my heart. When I felt cast aside by the world, I was accepted by God. Knowing that the God of the universe remained by my side and welcomed me back even during the times when I failed and doubted allowed my satisfaction in Him to strengthen. When those closest to me failed to understand or listen I could rely on God and rest assured He would always care and listen no matter how long I rambled on.


JEREMIAH 29:11-13


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.


I can't count the number of times I've allowed myself to be deceived into thinking that the things of this world will bring me satisfaction. I've often thought "If I had this, then I would be happy" or "When I reach this point in my life, then things will be perfect." I've quickly realized that no point in my life will ever be perfect by my means, but my life is always perfect when I'm following God's will. I've grown weary when things didn't go my way and didn't work in the timing I expected, but God's been teaching me that even through the waiting and unfulfilled desires, He is all I need. If I can't find satisfaction in Him, then why should He bless me with more? If I can't be thankful and content with what I have now, then I will be searching for contentment in things that won't satisfy my heart. I first have to find contentment with what I have and find my satisfaction in God so that I won't be basing my happiness in the wrong areas. The desires this world offers are fleeting, but when I take a step back and remember why we are here it helps put things into perspective. I'm not here to be happy or have a fun life. I'm here to be an example, live for God, grow in my relationship with Him and lead others to Him with the talents and opportunities God has given me.


Psalm 16:11


You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.


Satisfaction in God can be found when we can remain content that no matter what others think or say about us it will not change how God sees us. We have security and confidence that God will remain with us even when our circumstances and people's opinions of us change daily. Others may unexpectedly reject us but the Lord never changes. He will love you no matter what. I don't know too many things in this life that remain the same over time, but knowing I'm accepted, loved, cherished, valuable and wanted by God gives me reassurance that no matter how others treat me or what lies ahead God will be there.

I thought the song "Satisfied" by Jordan Feliz went along well with the topic of satisfaction. I hope you enjoy it. Click here to take a listen.

8.12.2017

Submission [Enough Study]

DEFINITION:


"The action of yielding to a superior force or accepting the will of another person."


Submission is a humbling experience in which we let go of our pride, selfishness and our control over our circumstances. It's difficult to place our precious plans, needs, wants and desires into the hands of someone else. It's hard letting go and remaining calm when the struggles we're experiencing are in the hands of a God we can't hear or see. It truly does distinguish how strong our faith is when we can submit our life to God on the hardest of days.




I have so many plans I wish would occur in my life. Things I want to accomplish. The person I hope to become. Ways I want to grow and strengthen. People I want to inspire. Changes I wish I could make in the world. Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world. The dreams and desires we have for our lives don't always occur. We have plans, but God has better ones. Sometimes I grow discouraged with where my life is at and I wish my life had more meaning. I look at the tiny life I lead and wish I could be doing greater and better things. I've come to realize that I often overlook the small things. God is using even the smallest of details to be used as something great. He's molding and shaping our hearts right now for what is to come. Whether it be later in this life on earth, or for our eternal home.

Submission might feel like you're giving up the dreams you have and giving them over to God to take control of. It might feel like you're missing out or being let down of what you desire. God never lets us down. It's impossible for Him to fail us. You're never missing out when God's in control of your life. He's brought special circumstances into your life for a reason. They may sometimes feel like burdens, but they are opportunities. Use what you have, no matter how small, and take advantage of what God's given you. It may not be what you wanted, or expected, but He's placing it in your lap for a reason.

Submission gets hard when we have to give up the life we had planned out. Submission is emptying ourselves of our wants and desires and letting them go so God can work through them. Submission is not knowing what God's plans are, but trusting He knows what's best. Submission is respecting God enough to know that He is for you and is using whatever happens for a perfect purpose. Submission is letting the worries and wants of your heart to be set free and no longer letting them only be your burden to bear.


Isaiah 55:8-9


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.


In our afflictions we are either submitting to our circumstances or we're submitting to God. We can't submit to both. For me it's usually a constant battle between the two. One minute I'm submitting to God and the next I feel myself quickly putting up a wall of resistance to take control. When we're submitting to our circumstances we are letting Satan win. We are letting our doubts and desires overtake God's truth. We are questioning God's goodness and wisdom. Submitting to God displays that we have faith that God will work through our situations, and no matter what the outcome, it is for a perfect purpose that we may not understand. Submitting to God is giving Him the steering wheel and taking the back seat.


Remember what is true of God. He promises to provide exactly what we need. He doesn't promise a happy life. He didn't promise that we'd have a clear direction and that He would provide direct answers to all our prayers. Instead, we try to take control of our lives and work things out on our own. We act like God isn't enough for us. Don't live in such a way that if something is taken from your life it would cause you to question God's goodness and hinder your drive to continue on. Don't let the very things God has blessed you with become more prominent than Him and overtake the special place He has for them in your life. Everything in our life may not feel like it's working out, but it doesn't have to work out yet because this is not the end. A perfect life isn't the key to our purpose here. An easy life isn't the goal. It's using our life to fulfill God's purpose, love others and glorify Him.


2 Corinthians 4:16-18


For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


We don't have to protect our life from everything. We'll never have a life untouched by pain or heartache. Choose to build things with your life for a greater purpose. Even if it costs you in this life, you have a greater future when you submit them over to God. Submission to God is telling Him that He has you no matter what happens. You'll keep trusting even when it doesn't make sense. You believe in His goodness even when all the signs are screaming at you to doubt and question His presence. Although submission often brings more suffering than we intended, our worst day with God on our side is more fulfilling than even the greatest satisfaction or success that we could ever experience here on this earth.

7.29.2017

Enough Study | Developing Patience

Have you ever felt like every day was a struggle. You've grown weary in performing the day to day tasks and you wish there was more to you everyday life? Do you find it difficult to keep an eternal perspective when the world and all it's pleasures, expectations and stresses are thrown at you daily? Have you placed other desires in place of God and relied on them for your happiness? Do you allow your worth to be determined by something you will lose?



While I'm constantly learning and growing, over the past few months God has been working on my heart to find satisfaction in Him when my life is in disarray. Life gets hard and things don't go as we planned. It's hard to rely on God when we can't see what lies ahead. It's hard to trust Him when we can't see what He's doing. In this study I hope to share what I've been struggling through over the past months and also what I'm continually learning day by day. In this study I hope to share ways in which you can look at your life full of stress, worries, unknown futures and unmet desires and find peace and contentment knowing that God is enough. Below I'll share the first part of the study - developing patience.

 

Developing Patience

 

 
DEFINITION:

"The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without complaining"

IN HEBREW:

The word patience in the Hebrew is “qavah” which means “to wait for, to look for, to hope, or to expect.”

 
IN GREEK:

In the Greek, it is used most often as “hypomenō” which means “to remain, to abide, to persevere, endure, or to bear bravely and calmly.”


In today's society we have found the word "patience" becoming almost nonexistent. We want instant and immediate. With technology we have easy access to things on our time schedule and we don't have to wait for an answer. Patience has become a hard characteristic to find with today's society. When we have to wait in traffic for more than a few minutes we get agitated and angry. When the cashier takes longer than expected we complain. When the internet doesn't work we become easily annoyed. While patience is one of those characteristics I easily write off as unattainable, I quickly forget that it is a fruit of the Spirit that we as Christians should be continually seeking and growing in.

I've always been one to struggle with remaining patient during the long silent lulls in my life. It always seems like God grows more quiet than ever during these times. When I need Him most is when I feel like He's giving me the cold shoulder. I begin to question His goodness. It is during these times that I question how His plans for my life can be of any worth. I wonder "How long?" I begin to wonder if the things I've been praying for and desperately seeking Him about will ever be fulfilled.

Looking at my life in comparison to other's lives has often left me feeling discouraged with God's reasoning for where my life had ended up. I questioned why others so easily attained the very things I was desiring and seeking God about and I was left with an empty heart. I had faith that God could perform and provide the things my heart desired, but He was working at a colossal pace. Why did God provide and bless others with the things I've been waiting and trusting Him with for years? I began to question God's justice and how this was meant for good. I continually still struggle with finding a better perspective in this area.

Through the waiting and silent times of my life God has often felt farther than ever. The silence brought me to a place of feeling crushed and forgotten. I just wanted to feel Him near, but sometimes He didn't make His presence known. Maybe because He knew that I already knew He had never left my side and He didn't need to prove Himself because He promised to always be there.


Lamentations 3:25-26


The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.


I have grown to realize that the quiet times of my life that God felt farther than ever - the times when my heart yearned for an answer to my prayers, were the times that gave me a deeper reliance on God than ever before. When the nagging desires of my heart weren't being fulfilled or they felt like they were growing stronger than my need for God, those were the times I needed to seek Him for strength. Although it wasn't easy to overcome, I found God giving me strength to get through everyday. He provided a way when it didn't seem possible. Even though it wasn't the way I wanted it.

Patience is embracing your circumstances and accepting them without questioning or complaining. Patience is looking at your circumstances and finding hope knowing that God is working. Patience is when you've done all you can do, and just being still. You don't have to have the control or worry. You don't have to carry the weight of the pressure. You don't have to have it all planned out. You can just be still. Be still and let God work. For me, being still is often the hardest thing for me to overcome. If something is wrong or not how I want it I try to do everything within my power to fix it. I struggle with just sitting by and waiting for things to work out in God's timing. I want to rush and get it worked out. God has a different perspective though. He tells us to "Be still and know that I am God." I sketched this verse on my chalkboard to help as a reminder, but I really began to take a deeper look at it's meaning recently. I've heard the verse many times before, but upon reading it I've come to better understand it's meaning.

Although it seems like common sense, I was able to find a deeper meaning to the verse that helped me through the impatient times in my life. When I've done all I know to do and I feel like I want to fix my problems, I can just be still. I don't have to worry. I don't have to continually think through my problems. I don't have to harbor on it. I don't have to question or doubt. I don't have to run it through my mind a million times. I can rest because I know who God is. God promises to never fail or forsake us. He promises to provide exactly what we need. He promises to protect us. He is in control of all things. He is busy at work even when all we hear is silence. He is the Creator of all things. So we don't have to become anxious or take things into our own hands because we can remember how great our God is. He's got this. So you don't have to carry the burden. You can just be still and rest knowing He's in control.


Psalm 37:7


Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
 

Although God promises us that He will always be with us and He will never fail us, He doesn't say that He will answer our prayers immediately and with a fast turnaround time. When we are taught to wait for an answer it teaches us endurance and perseverance. If things came easily we wouldn't have the opportunity to be strengthened in our character and relationship with God. We wouldn't be learning dependence on God for our heart's deepest desires.

How many times have I grown weary with God and wondered what He was doing. I questioned why He wasn't changing my circumstances and how much longer I had to wait. Instead I failed to realize what I could be learning and gaining from what I was experiencing right then. What is God trying to teach you right now that maybe you've been failing to realize when you're so caught up in what you wish you had? Often times our circumstances don't need to change. We do. Our hearts need to be broken in order for us to change our perspective.

7.13.2017

Trusting God with Your Future Husband & Ebook Giveaway

Trusting in God has always been one of my shortcomings when it comes to my walk with God. I struggle to let go of things I desire and entrust them with Someone I can't see, hear or touch. I struggle especially when it comes to my future husband. I see so many men out there, but I don't see many who are living for God, let alone are even interested in talking to me. Sometimes thinking about my future husband can feel discouraging because everyday I grow more worried that he doesn't exist. Maybe he's just a fantasy man that I think is out there and it's just a desire that I have that will never be met. My expectations are high, so meeting the right guy who likes me and values the same things I do sometimes feels quite intimidating.

It is then when I remember the God we serve. He is the Maker of the universe. The One who created all things. He knew what I would need before even the earth was created. If God had created me with all my desires, I know that if God has a husband out there for me, that He would have prepared him (or is preparing him) for who He knows I will need as my husband.

Sometimes I grow weary in the big "if" questions. "If I only knew God has that special guy out there for me. If I only knew he existed, then I could trust. If I just knew when I wouldn't feel so discouraged" Asking God to give me insight into the future is not a burden I need to carry. I don't need to know all the answers. I don't need to know the future. If I knew God had a husband for me, then I wouldn't have this opportunity to truly rely on God and seek Him during this season of life. I don't have the answers. I have no clue what God is doing during this time in my life, but it's nice knowing that Someone does. God's got it. He always has.

I like to think that if God ever brings the right guy into my life I will treasure it even more because of the waiting I've experienced during this time in my life. Through this season I can look back and see the ways in which God has been strengthening my relationship with Him. At times it felt like He was breaking me, but through it all He's been there teaching me through the struggling. Being 24 and never being in an official relationship has often left me feeling like I'm lagging behind. I'm missing out. I'm unattractive or incapable of being in a relationship. I look to those who seem like they're jumping in and out of relationships and don't even value or have the opportunity to trust God when they are alone and don't have someone in their lives.

I've always struggled finding lasting friendships. None of my friends ever seemed like they stuck around for very long. I've had seasons of loneliness and feeling invisible to the world. Times when I wondered why God hadn't provided a true friend or boyfriend to come into my life to care and be a friend when I needed it most. It was there where I found my best Friend was always there - God. During the lonely seasons of my life I found that God was my support and my faith strengthened in Him, knowing He was providing all I needed, even when it felt like it wasn't enough. It's still a continuing struggle, but I have found that God is truly all we need in this life. Things I thought I needed, God just kept stripping them away from me to show me that I never needed them to find satisfaction, pleasure or happiness. God is the source to all we have and He's the One who will provide all we need for the future.

When things don't feel like they're moving along fast enough or work out the way we would like, it's a constant reminder that God is the One in control. His timing is perfect. He is providing exactly what we need in the perfect of timing. I can look back over the years of my life and find that promise true. He's protected me from wrong roads, led me down paths that I never would have chosen, but all of them were creating me into the person God wanted me to be. As long as we are seeking God with our life now we can rest assured that we are right where we need to be. We aren't lacking anything or missing out. God has you right where you are right now for an amazing purpose. Don't miss it.

It may feel like God is withholding something from you that you feel is a hole in your heart that is missing, but He's the missing piece. Without God the center of our lives we will never feel joy or contentment. A joyful heart comes when we can look at our broken lives and find hope and strength in God knowing that He's present and working. He's using this time in your current circumstance to strengthen you in ways that you never could be if you had all the desires of your heart. He wants you to rely on Him and not get hurt with the ever-changing pleasures of this world. Trust in God with what you have currently and He will bless you for your faithfulness to Him. He's got it. You don't need to stress or worry over it! It may take longer than expected, but it is well worth the wait!

Free Ebook Giveaway


I'm partnering with Livy at the Crown of Beauty since she just released a new PDF ebook and is offering a free ebook giveaway here on my blog. I'll list the details below...



About the Book: The Coronation is about a modern day monarchy, telling the stories of a Royal, Christian, homeschool family who lives in the fictitious nation of Tarsurella. The eldest son, Addison, is predestined to inherit the throne on his twenty-first birthday, and must fully rely on the Lord to help him take on such a monstrous responsibility. His younger siblings, all seven of them, each have adventures and trials of their own in the midst of preparing for Addison's Coronation. The teenage Princesses, Bridget, Chasity, and Hope, learn that trusting God to bring their future husbands is far more challenging than they ever dreamed it could be. Guarding your heart, trusting God, and allowing Him to write your love story, are all major themes in this tale.

How to Enter: To be entered in the giveaway and receive a free digital PDF of the ebook please leave a comment below and answer the question: "If you were royalty for a day, what would you do?"

The giveaway will end on July 15th, so be sure to check back in the comments to see if you won!