Monday Mornings are devotions/encouraging words posted every Monday morning. We all know that Mondays are tough, but Mondays mean a new week, a new day, and a new opportunity to serve The Lord. These posts are posted on Instagram every Monday, too! So take some time and read some encouragement on those gloomy Monday mornings. I pray that The Lord will use my words and His Word to encourage you and lift you up this morning, or any day that you stumble upon this blog!
Y’all God really slapped me hard this past week. Straight up- I didn’t care about the hurricane that hit a bunch of communities in the south. It’s so incredibly hard for me to admit that, but it’s true. And I just do not do not do not want to be that way anymore- and y’all, I don’t want that for you either. So I really want to use this #mondaymorningjesusas a way to say- go be Jesus. Go help where people need help. Go, give, pray- whatever you can do- just be Jesus to those who are experiencing loss and hurt like those affected by hurricane Harvey. But don’t stop there. Serve in your community and love on your community whenever you can. Be Jesus. Love like Jesus. Don’t lose sight of His Kingdom and sharing His truth with those around you. Love y’all. Have a great Tuesday. #devotions#jesustalks #jesusislove #jesusistruth
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. | Romans 8:22-25
I don’t know enough about the events in Charleston this past weekend, but I do know that I want to be praying, really praying, for all those involved, connected and affected by the events. Not only that, I want to be praying for our country, the people that make this country what it is, for you and me, for the courage and love and heart to stand up for what is right in all this mess. But in all honesty, I don’t have the words. I don’t know what to pray. I want to pray for healing and redemption and goodness to come from all the bad in the world but I don’t know how to put it into words. So I’m praying like heck, groaning and mourning and kneeling in front of the Father to have Him fill me with the words that I cannot find. To fill me with the hope that He is working, He is coming and He will not delay.
And I just pray that we can all join in the groaning of the spirit for the mess our nation and the world is today. Because let’s face it, we are a mess, a broken, messy, jumble of people trying to live in a world that is only fighting against us. And we can’t win. But He can- He already has. We just have to join Him in that victory, by praying, like heck, for Him to come. We need to pray until we don’t want to stop. Pray like heck guys. Cause He already won, but He’s waiting for us to join Him in the fight. #mondaymorningjesus
| Monday Mornings |
Give hugs not drugs. And listen to people who love you gosh dang it.
I’ve had this picture on my phone for quite awhile. And I can’t remember if I took it or if I stole it from someone else’s phone, but all I know is that it always makes me chuckle but it always speaks truth to me in a weird way each time I see it too.
Because hugs are great and drugs are bad. Just like how truth is good but lies and negative words aren’t any good at all. Be the hug not the drug. Be the good not the crappy. Guys bear with me- I’m stretching this so I can have something to post today because all I really want to say is this: love people well by speaking truth over them and to them and love yourself by listening to those who love you and listening to the truth they speak to you. Both can be hard sometimes. More the second than the first. It can be easy to give advice but harder than heck to actually receive it. But I’ve always seen that some people know your crap but won’t call you out on it. Some people know you’re pulling all the bull yet not speaking truth and love into the lies of your life. This may be sound dramatic guy’s, but how many times have you seen your people hurting themselves by choosing that stupid thing over and over or by always saying they aren’t this or aren’t enough for him or whatever other lie Satan has persuaded them of? How many times have we not been the people the gospel asks and demands us to be to our friends? We need to speak truth and we need to then listen to that truth. Listen even when it hurts. Speak truth even when you know it will sting. Give hugs not drugs. Happy Monday y’all. #mondaymorningjesus #devotions #faith #jesus #speaktruth
| Monday Mornings |
Look for the helpers.
Sometimes people just stink. And aren’t very nice. And really stink at hiding that they are having a bad day. And then there’s all the bad things that happen every day, every place, from slavery to bombs to wars and starvation. But within that crap and mess and brokenness- there’s always good. There’s always helpers. So look for them. Look for the helpers. The do gooders. The people that smile even when they are having a rough day. That people that say you look beautiful even on a Monday. The people that encourage and love and work hard to make sure everyone knows they matter and they have a purpose- even in the mess. Look for the helpers guys. Be the helpers. Love people well. And repeat. Oh, and thx for the beautiful piece of art and the reminder @goodgoodgoodco. #mondaymorningjesus.
Oh, and don’t ever forget: I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus | Philippians 1:6
| Monday Mornings |
Every Monday morning I wish and wish and wish that Monday started with the letter N so that I could actually stay true to its name (Nonday Nights, get it?) because mornings don’t like me, especially Monday ones. BUT I still have a few hours left of this Monday and I’ve been wanting to share this flag I received in my spring @causebox because it literally tears my heart open every time I read those two simple words (in a good way y’all). It is so dang hard to stay true to who we are in this world. Because the trends are always changing, the fads are short and #authentic doesn’t even mean what it’s supposed to mean anymore. Last week I shared my heart on @goodgoodtalks to the point where I was almost too embarrassed to publish it. But then I remembered why I started the podcast anyway, why I love Instagram probably more than I should and why I recorded me crying and whining in the first place- because that is me. And I’m not going to change that. I may tell you my whole life story when you literally just asked me what time I have to be up the next morning and I may go way too much into detail when you ask why I love cacti and pineapples so much, but that is me. Details and depth and real, raw, messiness is how God created me, and I am learning to love that about myself. I am learning to love that I feel deeply and care deeply. I am finally beginning to believe that I was created unique and perfect and whole in His image- and I am adored by my Father.
And you have to believe those things too. You have to stay true to who you are, learning to love yourself for who you are and WHOSE you are rather than trying to be something that you think this world wants- when all this world needs, is you. So- whoever you are reading this morning devotion at 9pm at night- remember to stay true to who He created you to be. Never ever ever wish to change who you are because, nothing about you is a mistake. Goodnight friends. #mondaymorningjesus
| Monday Mornings |
Excuse me- very sincerely- for my language, but y’all, we need people who will call our bulls***. We need people who will not just nod their heads and agree with you but someone that will say, “yeah me too, but you’re headed in a not so hot direction and you need to stop that.” We all need someone who will listen to our excuses or even all the ways we try and justify why we did what we did and call out the bull shiz. Because we all have it. No matter how pure our intentions and how hard we try to strive for godly things, Satan is real good at distracting us and making us feel like God is our focus when really God ain’t no where in the mix, just our broken selves trying to make-do with our own strength. So who sits across from you and nods and listens when needed, but also calls your bull shiz when the spirit leads them to call your bull shiz? We all need those people who say the hard stuff. Who call you even when it hurts them and you. Because those people not only care about your heart, here and now, but they care about your eternity, forever and always. So surround yourself with those people. And you be the bull shiz caller for your people too. Because that’s loving well. And helping your people live in the fullness of their Father.
Happy Monday y’all. #mondaymorningjesus
I may have worked two shifts this weekend y’all, but I rested. And it wasn’t a time that was easy to rest or that even was something I planned into my day, but it was a time of rest that the lord literally pushed me into. I I was forced to picnic alone, to swing alone, to Netflix and literally chill alone, to read alone. I ydidn’t have a full sabbath day no, but I did have time to walk with the lord (literally and figuratively), sit and be still, and had many times where I just cried it out. All to say, I just want to use this Monday morning to encourage you to take some time to rest. Take some time, out of this crazy fast paced life to just sit and spend time in the Word. Sit and read a few chapters of that book you just can’t “find time” to finish. Fill yourself with the fullness of Jesus so that wherever you go, there is no chance in heck someone could miss His presence in you. Just do it guys. You’ll never regret spending time with Him or just taking a break from this crazy life and soaking in all the blessings around you. Happy Monday friends. #mondaymorningjesus
It is the fight that God wages on our behalf to help us remember that life is simply not about us, it is about God- His plan, His kingdom, His glory.
It’s hard to remember this life isn’t about us. It’s hard to remember the bigger picture, the final outcome, the war that is battling all around us, but until we focus in on Him and His purpose and plan, nothing will seem right or fit right or be right. Nothing can be right without Him as your one and only. Stick with the fight today guys. He is fighting with you and for you. Always. #mondaymorningjesus
Sometimes I get a whole heck of a lot overwhelmed that this world is so dang big. I get overwhelmed that there is so much to do, so much to see, but there never seems like there’s enough time for it all. And then the thought of my calling and my purpose in this world collides with that overwhelming feeling of a big world. And the feeling doubles in weight. Then I get fearful and worried of, since this world is so big and our God is even bigger, what the heck is He going to call me to next? Sometimes there’s just straight fear in the idea of being obedient because I know He could ask me to do anything and I’d actually have to do it. But at this same time of getting overwhelmed, I read the chapter in Job where God drops the mic on right top of Job. And then I realized, He does it all. From the smallest thing to the biggest, He knows every detail. He plans every part and knows every movement. So no matter how much He asks of us, He’ll be right there next to us, holding our hands and guiding us forward or slightly pushing us into the unknown- where is He waiting. He never asks us to do something without Him knowing, without His presence, without HIM.
So with this knowledge and awareness that He is always there (kinda obvious but easy to forget, ya feel?) I’ve started to ask bigger requests of God. I’ve started to pray bolder prayers and ask harder questions because in those moments of digging and in those moments of shaking hands lifted high, I know He is going to be there and show up better than I ever could imagine- I just have to believe it. So what do you need to ask today guys? What do you you need to choose to believe? And then when you do, step back and watch Him do His thing. #mondaymorningjesus
We weren’t made to keep up. We were made to me free. To be who we already are.
I love getting coffee or chipotle or Qdoba with friends for hours and hours. It is during those times that the Lord SO meets me and affirms His more than crazy blessings in my life. And today was no exception with this one. It’s beautiful to have friends lead you to the Father when you know their story and their heart and their troubles. It’s incredible to have a person who knows grief and hurt and pain yet she still chooses to look you in the eye and tell you you are free. That’s when you know this Jesus guy isn’t messin around. That’s when you know that His freedom is true freedom. So this Monday morning/late afternoon I wanna do encourage y’all with two things: know that we weren’t made to keep up with the world around us. We were made to be free. To be who we already are. You were made to be you. And only you. And two? Surround yourself with people that encourage you in the freedom, push you into the freedom, surround you in His freedom. Because you were made in love with love and through love to live loved and to live free. To live freely in who you are- because who you are is truly one freaking one of a kind. Choose to live in His freedom today guys. Happy Monday. #mondaymorningjesus
Scripture, the living word, is your foundation- so that you may be complete and equipped for every good work.
So wake up this morning and read it. Memorize it no matter how hard it may be. Sit and be still no matter what you know you may be missing on Instagram at that moment. Give Him your time and He will give you Himself. Happy Monday y’all.
….you emerge as gold.
| Today also my complaint is bitter.
His hand is heavy despite my groaning.
If only I knew how to find Him,
so that I could go to His throne.
I would plead my case before Him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would learn how He would answer me;
and understand what He would say to me.
Would He prosecute me forcefully?
No, He will certainly pay attention to me.
Then an upright man could reason with Him,
and I would escape from my Judge forever.
If I go east, He is not there,
and if I go west, I cannot perceive Him.
When He is at work to the north, I cannot see Him;
when He turns south, I cannot find Him.
Yet He knows the way I have taken;
when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.
My feet have followed in His tracks;
I have kept to His way and not turned aside.
I have not departed from the commands of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
more than my daily food.
But He is unchangeable; who can oppose Him?
He does what He desires.
He will certainly accomplish what He has decreed for me,
and He has many more things like these in mind.
Therefore I am terrified in His presence;
when I consider this, I am afraid of Him.
God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.
Yet I am not destroyed by the darkness,
by the thick darkness that covers my face. |
He is Risen.Well, yesterday was Easter, and this morning we woke up to just an ordinary Monday. A regular old Monday without a special name. Just plain old, boring Monday. We woke up to the same to-do lists of last week, the same routines, the same mess, the same baby gates and dirty dishes. Yet the truth of Easter and the celebration of a Risen Savior still rings true. And I think sometimes we forget that. We forget that even though easter is over, we still get to celebrate the Risen King every stinkin day. Every moment. Every “regular, old Monday.” Even on the regular days and bustling through all our crazy to-do lists, Jesus still reigns. He still beat death. You, me, that person sitting next to you, and the person you really can’t stand right now, are still saved and freed and redeemed and made new because of Jesus. We still can celebrate the cross. We still get to celebrate the empty tomb. Easter weekend may be over, but Jesus’ death and resurrection never will be.
So wherever you’re at this morning, whether that be worn from a busy weekend or worn from the thought of your week ahead, remember that the celebration of the empty tomb is still true. Remember that He died and rose so that you could have life and life abundantly.
Happy Monday y’all. #mondaymorningjesus
Make Things Happen.
It’s hard to know when to make the move and when to just stay put. It’s hard to read whether the Lord will totally do it all or if He is asking you to just jump and trust Him. And honestly, what I’ve learned, is that if God wants it to happen, it’ll happen. And if want “it” to happen, whatever that “it” may be, it will- just maybe not always how you had hoped/planned.
But honestly that’s the most wonderful thing about God. His plans and His blessings in our lives are ALWAYS better than anything we could have dreamt. He makes things happen- but we have to let Him. And we ALSO need to make things happen ourselves too.
If you want that job, go for it. With all you’ve got. Make connections, drop off too many resumes, email the business/school way too much. If you want to live somewhere new, make it happen. Make appointments, google the heck out of the phrase “apartments in….” Dream, plan, wish- and then hand it all over to Him- and that’s when He’ll make it happen.
I want to live by the beach. And blog. And work with kiddos. And get my masters. So I started planning. I started looking. But in the end, I knew it was all in His hands, and honestly where I am planning to make my next home is way better than anything else I had planned. I was planning and all He did was shift my focus to where He wanted.
Work your butt off for what you want but ultimately, know in your heart and mind that it is all in His hands. Make it happen, by giving it all to Him.
You’re never gunna let me down.
I sometimes think God doesn’t care about my current situation or relationships or future plans. I get caught up in thinking He will never answer me or give me the best because, well, why would He? But the thing is- that thought process is so far from the truth. Because he does care. A whole dang lot. He cares for the little moments and the big. He cares for the friendships you make on a Saturday night to the hostess seating you at a local cafe. He cares about our interactions with others and every move because He is a good good Father. A Father who is perfect and always watching and waiting and hoping for the best for His children. And He never lets us down. Ever. We may think He has when things don’t go out way, friendships end, marriages struggle or even jobs are lost, but He is always faithful and always good to take care of His children. “…do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” | Romans 2:4
He is a Father who will never let you down. A Father who is kind and gracious and leads us to the place where His glory will always been seen.
Rest in that truth today guys- that He will never let you down, no matter where you are.
| Monday Mornings |
He makes all things new.
That’s my favorite thing about Jesus. That He makes us new. That we become a new person because of Him and His grace. Because of His blood and His sacrifice, our brokenness is no longer broken but mended. Our past is no longer a weight but forgiven. Who we were yesterday is washed away, and we wake up with new mercies and a new pile of grace every morning. We wake up new people every day.
Every day is a new day with Jesus. Not because we deserve it but because He loves us that much. He wants us to lean into who He created us to be, and we get a chance to be that person every day. We are given an never ending abundance of grace to be a new person every day.
So rest in that you are made new through Christ- today and every day after. Don’t let your past hold onto you and don’t let yourself hold onto your past. Know that you are new and loved and good because of Him.
Happy Monday guys. #mondaymorningjesus
| Monday Mornings |
Culture is caught not taught.
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” | Ephesians 2:8-10
I had the honor of sitting in on my church’s family ministry meeting this morning, and it was so wonderful and humbling to hear the hearts of those who are leading children and students, & our family pastor talked about this culture that we create as staff and volunteers and I loved it so much, I had to share it with you all.
CULTURE IS CAUGHT NOT TAUGHT.
Culture is caught not taught. How we act, what we say, what we do, how we look at others and how we perceive our day-day blessings and messes is due to the culture that we live in. We can teach love and grace all we want, but if we don’t act it out, if we don’t model love for our students and communities and grace for the crap they find themselves stuck in, we are hypocrites to a T. And honestly, that is most christians these days- we try so hard to teach our culture but in no way do we feel the need to model it. We teach compassion and mercy and forgiveness and servanthood, but we don’t actually live it out. And then we wonder why people are so against Jesus and the church. Heck guys, people can’t deny the beauty and mystery and grace of Jesus, but they can deny us who are the disciples and missionaries of His Word, which then keeps people who desperately need Him to say no to Him. Not because of Him but because of you and me.
I know those last few sentences are a little tough to swallow, but that is because they are true. WE get in the way of the gospel because of the lives we demand others to live but don’t live ourselves. We talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Guys- we are all broken people saved by grace. We are all in need of a savior. We all need more grace than we realize. And that grace, that mercy, that love, wasn’t given for us to boast in ourselves but to boast in Him.
That grace wasn’t given to us so we could preach the gospel one morning but bring others down in our actions and words that same evening. That grace isn’t ours to take credit for and its not ours to just give whenever we want. Its a grace that we are called to not only preach but to live by. And honestly, we should live by it before we preach it. Get people caught in the culture of Jesus, don’t just teach them about it. Get yourself caught in the culture of grace and love, don’t just teach it. Love God and Love others. That’s it.
| Monday Mornings |
Show up in the mundane.
I really think a lot of us christians think serving and living for the Lord should always look like someone’s instagram feed. That our life is snapshots of serving the broken across the seas and always rejoicing in the wonderful fellowship of friends that we always seem to have. That our life is always good coffee and good friends and always feeling Jesus and knowing His calling on our lives every step of the way.
But that isn’t the reality for anyone. No one has their life together. Not even the celebrities or the well-known, super hip christian speakers and worship leaders. None of them have their crap together. None of them have the perfect Christian life. Not even one.
Life is life guys. Life is living and serving and working in the mundane. The mundane that is the boring moments and the happy moments. The moments that seem worthless and not instagram worthy, yet are so detrimental to your life and other’s.
The Lord calls us to something bigger than ourselves and then most the time says “wait.” He can give us a word or a vision or a dream and then not hand it over until it seems like the promise may never come. But it will. Because the promise is in the right now. In the mundane and the day to day. It’s in the drive thru at Starbucks and the stand still traffic on the highway. It’s in the 8-5 and 24 hour life of a parent. He is working and preparing and growing you in the mundane. Because we aren’t called to live only when life seems “good” but to live rooted and established in His love and His promise, in the every day life and the day to day moments that seem pointless.
I’m feeling the mundane y’all. I’m feeling the worthlessness of my day to day life. But that is where He meets us. That is where He has called us. So I so pray you wake up and live in that grace today. That you live in the promise that the mundane and the “regular, boring” life you live isn’t regular or boring at all. That you can see and feel and know His calling even in the not so instagram moments. That you can live rooted in Him and His love and grace, even in the mess and the boring.
Happy Monday y’all.
| Monday Mornings |
When we pray, we cooperate with Divinity.
The idea of prayer is hard for me to wrap my mind around sometimes. Because yes we can pray but doesn’t He already know the outcome? So what difference does our prayer make? And then He smacks me and reminds me that prayer is not only surrender and trust in His power and will, but it’s a time that I get to be with Him and stand hand in hand with my Heavenly Father and make a difference. Because when we pray, we are cooperating with Divinity. We are begging for divine intervention. We are letting go of all our control and placing it in His hands. And what the @wsccspfld message shared yesterday was that we can not only pray for a divine intervention, we not only get to cooperate with Divinity for change and hope in our lives, but we can make a change in the lives and communities and nations around us. We can pray for those who hurt us and frustrate us. We can pray for those who are leading us even when we don’t agree. Because prayer is powerful. Prayer is cooperating with our Heavenly Father, the One who reigns no matter what this world does or will do. And He is there waiting for our pleas. Asking for our hearts to fully surrender and call out to Him, because yes He can do anything, but wants to do it with us. He wants to make the change through us. And prayer and communicating with the Lord and pleading and begging and asking the Lord to lead and reign is how we can do anything with and through Him.
So pray big guys. Dream big. Ask for the hard stuff, beg for change and restoration for our country and the rest of the world. Because He wants to do it. And He wants to do it with us and through us. We just have to let Him.
| Monday Mornings |
I talk too much. And think too much. And worry too much. And contemplate too much. Which means I am really bad at just being. At just being still and soaking life in. I stink at being the listener instead of the talker. The observer instead of the doer. So today I took a day to just be. And I’ve already failed guys. I tried walking without anything in my hands and 20 seagulls attacked my coffee while I was feet away. I am sitting on the freaking beach of the Pacific Ocean, and I am already bored of sitting. So I am making myself just sit and be still. To just sit and listen to the waves- to just be in the pure miracle it is that the ocean doesn’t engulf us all. I am taking time to just be with Jesus instead of tell him what’s on my mind. And I so so want that for you too. If you have five minutes, or three or even an hour today, try to just be. Try to just and sit and be with Jesus. Soak in where you are, where He has you and where you are going. Sit and be this Monday y’all.
Happy January 30th!
| Monday Mornings |
I’m somebody that has grabbed onto that whole “new year, new you, resolutions galore” kinda thing. I love them. It’s fun to start over, to start something new, to dream big with no promise of landing on your feet. Now if ya would have asked me how I liked New Years resolutions this time last year, I’d probably start balling my eyes out right then and there. Because I had a whole lot of “news” and a whole lot of no plans of how to take those “news” head on last year. Shows how faithful and good and beautiful the Lord is with and in His work in my life this past year.
So no, New Years news haven’t always been my favorite, but what I learned very quickly over the last year of taking on new jobs, new plans and a new life essentially, was that every day is a new day. Every day is a new day full of grace and joy that our Heavenly Father has given us. We wake up every morning with new mercies, with a new day starting, with one more day to live our lives. Meaning our news resolutions don’t just start on January 1st. They begin on the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th- I’m sure you get it. Every stinkin day is a new day. So don’t wait till next January. Don’t want until a next “new year.” Start today. Start tomorrow. Start February 3rd for all I care- just start already. Because every day is a new day.
Take that Monday.
| Monday Mornings |
Psalm 119:169 | May my cry come before you, Lord.
Psalm 119 is a doozie. This verse popped up as my verse of the day, and not paying attention to the verse number, I said, “hey Steph, let’s read that whole chapter.” That verse for today was number 169; there are 176 verses in this psalm. Psalm 119 is a doozie- but not just because of its length, but because of the heart and soul poured into every word. Every verse talks of the Lord’s decrees and how the writer longed for them, how he desired focus and purity and hope from God’s word and voice. I want to be like that. I want to long for The King to lead the lost, to bring us back to Him forever, for Him to shower all of Himself on each and everyone of us.
I remember a few years ago when I couldn’t say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I wanted to be home with Jesus. I was scared of dying, longing for more life on the goodness of this earth and all the treasures that it holds- because He made us for this world and there is so much good in it- and I just wasn’t ready to part with it all. But if there was one thing I could say that has come from my doubt of Jesus and His realness and truth, is finally that longing to just be with Jesus. A longing to strive for Him and what He is doing and wants to do. A longing to say goodbye to all the ‘treasures’ of this world and finally be in His arms. In my doubt I have found that no, I don’t wish to die because life is too sweet, but I don’t want to live without Jesus. I can’t live without Jesus. I refuse to live without Jesus. So everyday, I will cry out to Him and pray that He has heard my cry. Because I know He has- because His time is not my time, His plan is not my plan and His faithfulness will never end- no matter what this world tries to tell me. We just have to trust that He is good.
Please please let me know how I can be praying for you. Seriously- no matter how “small” it may seem, it’s not. God put it on your heart, no matter how insignificant it may feel to you, nothing is insignificant to Him.
| Monday Mornings |
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. | Isaiah 58:11
| Monday Mornings |
Oh come let us adore Him.
I love the word adore. Because I love thinking of loving someone or something so deeply that you can’t contain it. And I think that is what adore means. To love and care for someone so deeply that it hurts (okay, it is what I means cause I looked it up before just in case). That is the feeling I want to have for Jesus this Christmas season and well, forever. I want to adore Him. I want to stand in awe of Him. I want to look at His people not with eyes of condemnation but of grace and love, the way He views us all. And I so want to love others the way He loved us to come and be with us. This Christmas I want to just stand in awe and adoration for my King who loved His people so much that He came and lived with them. And then I want to see His people that same way, with that same love and respect.
Make sure to share Jesus with someone this Christmas- let them know how loved and adored they are by their King.
| Monday Mornings |
Is it alright if I use the give of the day today as my Monday Mornings? Awesome🙏🏼
Grace is a word that holds a lot of meanings in just five little letters.
And honestly, I am not entirely sure how to help you give grace today.
Because giving someone grace is tough.
It means forgiving someone for a wrong they may have done, or letting that one person off a little easier than you may have the day before.
It means remembering that we are all broken people trying to live this life and to live it well. And sometimes we fall short. A lot of the times we fall short.
It means living in a mindset we all so desperately need but isn’t really the mindset this world tells us we should have.
It’s taking a breath and remembering that we are all people, figuring out this life together.
So give someone grace today.
My Give of the Day: I really think today is just a mindset kind of thing. A mindset where I give grace even when I don’t feel like it. A mindset that I so want to have every day. So today, giving grace, is just as simple but as tough as living in the mindset that we all deserve a little extra grace sometimes.
Philippians 2:1-4 | If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. |
| Monday Mornings |
“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” – C. S. Lewis
I don’t know about you, but this one line is a breath of fresh air. Because staying close to God is sometimes the hardest thing to do, and I can feel like a failure more than anything else when I don’t feel ‘close’ to Him anymore. But C.S Lewis is right: relying on Him, surrendering to Him, and trusting in Jesus all have to begin all over again every morning. Giving your life to Jesus isn’t a one time act of baptism and joyful tears. It’s a daily surrender even when we can’t feel it. So if I can encourage you with anything this morning it would be this- keep pushing into Him. Keep choosing Him. I know it can feel hopeless and stupid at times, but I promise He will never let you down.
Have a great Monday guys! And while you’re at it, give back today. Give give give something today.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12 | You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God. They will glorify God for your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with others through the proof provided by this service. |
Good morning and happy Monday y’all! So yesterday the message for my middle school youth group was all about generosity- how to give with the right heart, with faith that whatever you give, no matter how big or small, believing that He can do more than you could ever imagine with it. And even though this message was meant for middle schoolers, it hit me where it hurts- but also made me SO stoked to write about it. A few days ago I was struggling with what to write on my blog. One of my college friends gave me the brilliant idea to use my blog posts as a way offer ways to give this Christmas season. So starting December 1st, I will be doing a count down to Christmas, 25 days of giving.
Please hear me when I tell you that I am doing this because I need the advice the most. I need to learn how to give with a generous heart, with a cheerful and joyful heart. And I’d love for you all to join me. Because when we give, our Heavenly Father is given all the praise. And that’s all I want. So during this crazy hectic and busy Christmas season, let’s give so generously that Jesus has to be praised.
I can’t imagine walking this life alone. Dreaming and hoping and living without a savior. So I’m thankful for Him today. And every day for that matter. I’m thankful I can turn to Him in any given moment and feel an unexplainable peace and joy. I’m thankful He hears, He listens, and He blesses.
Gosh am I so thankful I don’t have to walk this life alone.
And you don’t either.
Turn to Him today- He is patiently waiting.
Psalm 46:1-3| God is our refuge and strength,
a helper who is always found
in times of trouble.
Therefore we will not be afraid,
though the earth trembles
and the mountains topple
into the depths of the seas,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with its turmoil. |
| Monday Mornings |
1 Corinthians 3:10-11| According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.
Matthew 7:24-28| Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great! |
Simply, build all of you have on Christ. All your expectations, all your hopes, all your dreams, should start with Jesus. And I’m learning that day by day. Because I’m a dreamer. I’m good at filling my head with ‘what ifs’ while missing the heres and nows that The Lord is so graciously offering me every morning I rise. And then I build off those dreams instead of Him, getting lost in my dreams and not in His kingdom coming. Which isn’t always bad, it just isn’t stable. Our plans aren’t stable, they aren’t promised. But His are. His plans of goodness and joy and His love are promised. So lean on those, build your hope and dreams on His love and Spirit, and then you’ll be building your life on Jesus, a hope that is unshakeable.
Happy Monday y’all!
| Monday Mornings |
“They do not show their real taste until you have added the salt.”- C.S Lewis
C.S Lewis does it again. The last chapter of Mere Christianity made me giddy. But here’s the thing: I remember it making me giddy, but I forgot the book before I left this morning, so bare with me as I try and find the words to explain what C.S Lewis so beautifully wrote himself. Pretty much God created us prefect and in His image, but because of the fall, we could no longer be all He wanted us to be. But then Jesus stepped in, saved us with His blood, and added the “salt” that we needed. He was that last ingredient, our literal saving grace, our final step in finally reaching and being all who we were created to be. And we all have that potential. We all have the ability to be the perfect child of the King- but we can’t reach it until we run to Jesus. We can’t show our real self until we have added that last ingredient, that salt, Jesus. That is what made me giddy. Believing and knowing that we all have the potential, that we all are so close to being the perfect person who we were created to be, seriously makes me jump up and down in excitement. Because I have people in my life who are so close to Jesus. They are so close to their potential, they just need a dash of salt. I know so many people who love deeply and are so beautiful inside and out, and once Jesus enters their lives, once they get that dash of salt, WATCH OUT they won’t and can’t be stopped for Jesus.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.”- Matthew 5:13
But what that means is we all who are blessed enough to have been smacked by Jesus ourselves have to be that salt. We have to be open and ready for Jesus to use us to show Him. So be the salt. Be Jesus. Help someone find that small but huge thing they are missing in their lives.
Also I hope this makes some sense because I am currently watching Mickey Mouse clubhouse while writing this✌🏻️ Happy Monday!
We look to you Jesus.
“Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” | Hebrews 12:2 “So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.” | Colossians 3:1-2
Jesus, we look to you. On the tough days, on the good days, and everything in between.
Seek Him today. Run with all your might, fixing your eyes on Him. Cause sometimes, that’s all you can do.
So don’t squash them just because you feel like you don’t measure up or that you aren’t as good as so’n’so. Because then you’re saying: Father, what You gave me, how You made me, was not enough. You are telling your Creator, who loves you more than you know, that He didn’t make you ‘good’ enough. You are telling your Father that what He made isn’t enough.
But He makes no accidents. And you aren’t the exception.
I wrote this almost 2 years ago, sitting in Starbucks, struggling with understanding why God chose me and why I was even a part of His story. I remember it like it was yesterday. And what is so cool is that those aren’t my words- those are His. That day I chose 1 Corinthians as a book to dive into and I couldn’t even get passed the first chapter because the truth I was reading was so powerful. So I’m not sure what my whole Monday morning encouragement is for you other than to sit and soak in His word. Write it out yourself, make sense of it all in your own words. That is what I did that day and honestly, haven’t really done it since. But I still remember it because I chose to not only skim the surface of His words, but to then dig in and soak it all in. So I encourage y’all to do that same- I’m pushing myself to do it again- because His word is so full of wisdom and truth, and sometimes we just have to take a little more time to figure it out. So choose a few verses, write it out yourself, and soak in His truth today.
“For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” | 1 John 5:3-5
Wow can I get an Amen!? What about a stinkin hallelujah!? I read this verse the other day and was just dumbfounded by the simplicity and power behind such truth. “Now His commands are not a burden because whatever has been born of God conquers the world.” I love that word, ‘conquered.’ It’s powerful and humbling, a firm foundation that we can stand upon, one word that we can throw all our hope in, because Jesus conquered. And because Jesus conquered, we conquered. And we didn’t just overcome anything, we didn’t just conquer that load of work or that load of laundry sitting in the corner of our room, no Jesus conquered death. Jesus conquered the one thing that separated us from Him- sin and death. And because of Jesus, we can now conquer the world. We can now conquer that debilitating temptation to give into our earthly desires. We can completely crush any anxious thought or lingering worry because Jesus conquered it all for us. He conquered so that we could live. He had victory so that we could finally be with Him. He had victory, He conquered, and so can we. And I think that deserves a big, fat hallelujah, shouted from the tallest mountain and the deepest valley. ‘This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
He had victory and we sing hallelujah for the lamb has conquered.
| Monday Mornings |
Yesterday in church, our pastor asked us what our favorite miracle of Jesus was. He told us to turn and tell it to our neighbor, so turning to my friend Allie I said “the woman who touched His cloak and was healed.” Now I really wasn’t ready for that story to come out of my mouth, but it did. And I realized that that healing, that miracle of Jesus is my favorite because it shows His power & a woman’s small step of faith all in one moment. If you don’t know the story, open up Mark 5:21- 34 and read this miracle for yourself. It is just 13 verses that show Jesus’ mercy and love for the broken and a woman’s small act of faith because she knew she had a powerful savior in her midst. Just 13 verses can show you that.
Afterwards I wondered why that story came to mind, and I realized it was because I want to have that kind of faith. I want to have the kind of faith that knows in my heart that if I can just reach out and touch Him, I will be healed. That if I just reach out in prayer and trust Him, my grandma will and can be healed from her cancer. That if I just knock and ask, look to Him as my savior, He can restore my dad’s hurting body in a heartbeat. Guys- we just have to believe. No one ever said faith was easy, no one ever said that faith makes sense- it wouldn’t be faith if it did. So how can you reach out and touch his cloak today, believing that He CAN do anything? That He has the power to heal, to restore, to mend. Trusting in His miracles is so incredibly difficult I know, but if you could do anything today in taking a step towards trusting His power, just whisper ‘I believe in you’ to Him today. Lean into Him, and I promise He won’t let you down.
| Monday Mornings |
Rejoice always, pray constantly, & give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you through Christ Jesus. || 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8
Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. | Psalm 37:3-4
If I were to be real honest with you, I would tell you that I want the desires of my heart before I want the Lord. There, I said it. But then after I’ve chased those desires for awhile, whether through books, movies, Instagram or people watching, my heart starts to ache like heck. When I let jealously and regret invade my mind, that is when my heart starts to break. But when I face the Lord first, sit in His word and His presence before I step foot into my plans for the day, that is when my heart feels peace. We all know it, and we all can admit it, our Heavenly Father knows us better than we do. He knows what we need, He knows what we truly desire, but if we put Him second, third or even tenth in line in what our hearts and minds seek after, that is where we can sink without even knowing.
So choose God first. It’s tough, and sometimes so frustrating to have to stop and give it all to Him, but when we do, that is when He can step in and do more than you could ever imagine. Have a great Monday!❤️
I asked God to reveal Himself to me when sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon. So as we watched the rain move in, with lightening striking every few minutes, I turn away from the beautiful sunset to see His promise of a bow in the clouds. ‘Let us strive to know the Lord.
His appearance is as sure as the dawn.
He will come to us like the rain,
like the spring showers that water the land.’ | Hosea
So I bought this huge book of C.S Lewis writings- 7 books in all- at the beginning of the summer, and I am still only half way through the first book.
But it’s so awesome to see God at work in my doubt as decided to start the bookset at the beginning rather than skip to the books I planned to read first (screwtape letters!!)- because low and behold, Mere Christianity, written specifically to lay out and explain the Christian Faith, was the beginning of the set.
Guys, in all honesty, my doubt is still lingering. It’s still trying to grab a hold of my thoughts, but what over powers the doubt is the urge to read His word, the eagerness to seek out His wisdom. This isn’t of my own doing but so The Lord in showing me that even when I wander, I am not lost. My encouragement this morning? Keep seeking him. Through the writings of scholars and saints, prophets and preachers. Seek His word, and seek His truth, even when that Instagram feed or Facebook thread seems way more appealing. Because all I know is there is something about God, something about His hope and His story that leaves me full of peace and grace. There is something about Jesus that I can and never will let go of, and I pray that whatever you may be facing, you feel the same way. The news is scary and fear of this world tries to enter my heart, but when I turn to Jesus and His word, I never leave empty and broken, but full and redeemed. #mondaymorningjesus
1 Peter 1:13 • Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. •
Revelation 21:1-5 • Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down outof heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” •
Yes I am packing up my life and moving to the beautiful state of California. Yes I am starting this “big adventure” that seems crazy fun & ‘the dream.’ But all in reality, this move has nothing to do with living in the one and only California, surrounded by mountains and ocean, but has everything to do with Jesus. Please don’t get me wrong, I am so excited to live in such a beautiful place. But I truly truly just want Jesus. I truly just want to go where He wants me to be. I truly just want to be home with Him, where every tear is wiped from our eyes. And I don’t want to stop going until He tells me to.
So I am setting my mind on His hope, His grace & how He is making me new. And I can’t wait to share that with my students and everyone else I come in contact with on the West coast.
And I guess all this to say, I am praying you can feel that same way today too. Have a great week guys!
I admit, I’m a little obsessed with maps. Yes they look cool, they are super trendy & all that, but what they really are are life savers. This picture here is a map of Prague, a city that I now feel like I know well. A city that truly has my heart, that I love, that I wish I could know more of. I eventually got to a point where I didn’t need this map to lead the way, but looking back I wish I explored more. I wish I knew every corner, every street, every alley of that place. I wish I stepped out of my comfort zone a little more and trusted my instincts, trusted the map a little bit more.When thinking about what scripture to post this morning, my eyes landed on this map on my bedroom wall. And instantly my mind started reciting 1 Peter chapter 1. I was determined to memorize that entire book in January, but chapter 1 is as far as I have gotten. When seeing that map and reciting the few verses I know by heart, my heart ached to know more. I wished that I knew more of His word and His promises. And just like I thought I knew Prague, I thought I knew His word. I think I do, but man is there always more to learn of Him. The bible is just like visiting a new city with just a $3 map in hand- there is so much to see, so much to learn, so much to hear, and all you have to do is trust the words. Trust the turns. Trust detours, the unexpected trials along the way. Just like how I had to trust this map with showing me a foreign city, I have to trust His word to lead me into learning more of Him and His story.’Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us a new birth into a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted and unfading, kept in heaven for you.’ | 1 Peter 1:2-3The only way to know Him is to know His word. Ask Him what He wants you to know by heart, and I fully trust that He’ll lead you to his words that you need to hear this morning.Happy June 27th!💃🏻😎
Genesis– ActsI started reading Genesis last week and at the same time I started Acts. SO MUCH happens in the first 16 chapters of Genesis that I think I may need to read it all over again. And just within the first few chapters of Acts, Jesus ascends, the Spirit comes down and thousands are saved.A beginning to another beginning. In Genesis I am hit with the beginning of all mankind, then in Acts I am covered with story after story of how God is moving through the apostles, the beginning of the spread of the Gospel.I honestly don’t know what to tell you to read first. But read a few chapters of one of the books today, okay? And read with intention. Read into each word and each verse because each chapter holds SO MUCH of God’s perfect intentionality throughout His word. He wants us to find ways in which He moved, He planned and He won. Every story is a story of Him.So read up friends, He is waiting to meet you.
| Monday Mornings |
There is something so calming when the waves roll in and hit your feet. I honestly think the beach, the wonder and awe of such a beautiful yet mystery, was what I loved most about my family vacation. I could sit for hours as the tide rolled in, just soaking in His goodness and completely breathless at the thought of all He had, can and will do.
In Mark 5, Jesus is walking through crowds of people, headed to heal a dying girl. But as he walks, a woman comes up behind him and says the most beautiful words: “If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well! ”
But listen, the story continues: Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction. At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My robes? ” His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me? ’ So He was looking around to see who had done this. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came with fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. “Daughter,” He said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free from your affliction.”
What would happen if we approached His throne the same way as this woman did? What would happen if I stepped up to Jesus the same way I step into the ocean’s tide, expectant and refreshed, or in Jesus’s case, expectant and ready to be healed?
Approach Him with faith. Reach out and trust that He will heal. And just like the ocean’s tides, once you set foot on holy ground, you’ll be immersed by His presence.
| Monday Mornings |
Take a look at John chapter 21. Read the whole chapter and just soak in the gentleness, the goodness, and the grace Christ generously hands to Peter. It’s crazy that we are forgiven 7 x 77 times, we are handed second chance after second chance. Now that is love.
And on a side note, man I hope I am like Peter, jumping out of the boat to see Jesus first when He comes again. #mondaymorningjesus
• Monday Morning Strides •
This little blue notebook was a Christmas gift from a dear friend, and just like any notebook or journal I have, I was determined to give this little guy a specific purpose.
And the purpose of this guy is for me to have a place for my gross, raw, terrifyingly real prayers to my Heavenly Father. And as I started writing these prayers I realized that the only way I could squash the lies and stop the depressed and anxious thoughts was to just cover them in His truth.
So that’s what I did. When I wrote a prayer of fear, I covered it with His promise of faithfulness. When I wrote a prayer of my future plans, I covered it with the words “only if you’re there with me.” Whatever I wrote, I purposefully left a blank page in between each prayer so that I could flip the page and literally cover the pray in Him.
I posted a blog this morning about where I am in my faith walk, and in all honesty, I’m so so scared that I am falling so far away that there is no way I can get back to where I trusted Him, even in my doubts. But that is the exact reason I have this book- is to remind me of His faithfulness. That is the reason I write my prayers, my thoughts, my worries, because I can look back and see all that He has done.
So even though this season of messy doubt is still dragging on, I know that one day I will look back at this little notebook and praise Him for how He pulled me through it all.
And the number one thing I have learned through this mess is this: all I want is Jesus.
Jesus is it guys. He is all we need.
And if you aren’t tired of me yet, then check out my blog for more on the Big Guy. Link in the bio!
• Monday Morning Strides •
Yahweh is bigger, Yahweh is bigger, He is greater. I think I may keep this word right in front me because it is definitely something I am prone to forget.
I am prone to wander Lord, I am prone to leave You whom I have known because of my weary heart and restless mind.
I am prone to wander from Him in my doubt and in my insecurities. I am prone to forget His reign and His power. I am prone to turn away from Him, I am even tempted to think that He will turn from me.
But He won’t, because He is bigger, He is greater, He is all I need, all I want in the brokenness- and He has and He never will leave my side.
Remember that when you’re prone to wander, He never will. Cause man I need help remembering it today too.
| Monday Mornings |
Folly is to know His word but not know Him.
I am not sure if any of you have struggled with reading the bible and experiencing a dry season, with no response from God but that seems to be an on-going season for me. And after reading this small snippet of truth from “Steadfast Love” I realized that is exactly why I get so frustrated when I am reading His word but not connecting with Him. The only reason we read His word is to know Him and to be closer to our Father, but it doesn’t always feel that way. And those few words from Lauren Chandler hit me hard because reading the Word has been so dry for me lately, and all I want from it is to know Him better. So I guess when I read this, it hit me: I want to know His word so that I know Him. No I won’t always feel it or maybe even believe it, but I have to keep filling my mind and heart up with His truth and His promises so that I never forget them.
So even when it’s dry or I feel like He is not there, I will keep reading and I will keep praising His name.
I think I have to tell myself this a little too much. I’m not over dramatic, but everything hits me to the core- good or bad. So of course when I think about how tough my last 15 months have been- of school, anxiety and depression, student teaching, traveling across the globe, and graduating with no plans- I almost fall to my knees. I fall in gratitude, but I also fall in complete and total brokenness. And while word vomiting all over my momma last night, she reminded me that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to be confused and to be frustrated, it’s okay to be needy and cry a little. Sometimes it’s okay to not have all the answers.
And it is in all those moments, I have to remember to just breathe and trust. Breathe and trust.
So guys, that’s all I got for you this morning- that I am taking a deep breath and trusting in something bigger than me, even when my eyes can’t see.
Breathe because He has risen. Trust because He beat death. And set your mind on things above because He is all we need in this broken world.
God is waiting to be wanted.
Gosh I love that. That God is waiting for us. That He wants us, more than we could ever imagine. Now I’m in this place where I really want God. I really want to figure Him out, to trust Him completely, to feel His presence again. I want to know His majesty and His power again. And this is the truth that keeps me pressing on: He wants to be pursued. He is a loving Father, who gives and gives and all He wants is your heart in return. That’s a tough thing for us to give entirely, especially with so much temptation and “good” stuff staring us in the face every day. This world looks so good, but guys He is so much better.
And it makes sense to me now, that God has been working through me in this long and dreary season- because He wants to be wanted. He doesn’t want surface level worship, He wants deep, intimate, real worship and adoration of His Son and His kingdom to come.
I’m getting there, and I pray that wherever you are, you’re getting there too.
Just rest in His glory this week guys. Happy Monday!
None of it matters without You.Here’s a peak into my life real quick: I’m doubting and questioning God more than I ever thought was possible, apparently break ups take a long long while to wear off, and I desperately needed to see my counselor this morning (I did and God is so good). Seriously guys, surrendering and giving your whole self to God, all while growing up, choosing things and losing some, and becoming your own person, are not all done overnight. My friend Mackenzie and I just figured out that surrender actually hurts like hell (sorry mom) and a breaking heart is a real real thing. And throughout it all, God covers you in blessings that push you further than before.
I guess what I am trying to say is that none of this life, none of my existence matters if I don’t have Him- and I have been clinging to that over the last few weeks. Seriously, He is the only constant. The only One who knows, who deeply loves, who is perfect in every way- and the only way I want to live is by being beautifully imperfect in His marvelous perfection.And I’m going to do that by clinging to Him, His word, and taking every day a day at a time.
Man is He good.
| Monday Mornings |
An everlasting splendor
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations– these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit– immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” | C.S. Lewis
This is why Jesus came. This is what spiritual life is about; this is why we are being transformed daily into more and more like Christ. This is our calling– to become what Lewis calls an “everlasting splendor.”
That’s what I want to be- an everlasting splendor- and I want to treat every single person as such.
Let Him transform you, mold you, and shape into more and more like Him.
| Monday Mornings |
This here list is a list I started at the beginning of Lent, and it is a list of all that I am grateful for. I am in this season where doubt is rising, questions are lingering and I’m not quite sure what I am doing wrong, but this list has reminded me of all the blessings I have, even when my faith can’t see.
I made myself be thankful for the things taken away, because I am. I forced myself to find the good in the ugly, because there always is. But was has blown my mind is that within every blessing I write out, 20 more could stem just from that one I wrote. I really could make a never ending outline with way too many subsections stemming from just one blessing. Now THAT is what I love about writing out what I am grateful for- that the list never really stops. That if I wanted to, I could keep writing all day and never run out of things to be grateful for.
This act has really humbled my anxious heart over the last month. It has given me something to hold onto, even when my hope seems lost.
I really encourage any of y’all to start this too. Just add to it every once and awhile, and I promise you’ll be amazed by all that your gracious Father has given you- and it will turn you straight to Him.
| Monday Mornings |
Genuineness of your faith.
‘You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith, more valuable than gold- which perishes though refined by fire- may result in glory, praise and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ 1 Peter 1:6-7
Well guys, no joke, this morning really mirrors how my faith walk has been recently. I was so stoked to get up and watercolor and create something pretty cool for my Monday mornings and then the thing on the right happened- twice🙈. And what I didn’t even realize was that I spelled genuineness wrong on both attempts too.
SO I know that trials like my morning routine may not necessarily be what Peter was talking about here, but I would say that the season I am trudging through right now is the various trials we are called to struggle through, really revealing to me and God the true genuineness of my faith. I am wanting to draw closer to God every morning, truly desiring understanding His word, but my morning routines end up turning into 17 snoozed alarms and heavy, tired eyes. I just feel like I am trying and trying and failing and failing to grow stronger in my faith, and I’m not gunna lie, it is wearing me out. And even when I keep falling, I keep forgetting that His gracious love and marvelous mercy are there to catch me every stinking time. But these trials and testing of my faith are straight up from the enemy. Satan KNOWS I want to further God’s kingdom and sit in His glory, sharing it with everyone around me, and man is he prowling and pouncing every chance he gets.
So if you are feeling like your faith is being tested, in small and big ways, LET IT. Let it test you and let it push you deeper into your walk with God. I keep laughing in satan’s face every time he tries to trip me up because every time I’m tired and worn, I turn to Jesus.
If you are doubting or stuck or feeling crummy and lost, let that fire refine you and strengthen your faith in your Heavenly Father. Just remember- Satan is going to push you because he knows what God is capable of doing through you- so let him push you, but let him push you deeper with Jesus.
| Monday Mornings |
He is jealous for you.
This truth hit me like a ton of bricks while I was reading through Zechariah the other night. (And if this makes any of you feel better, I started reading the entire bible before bed January of 2013 and I am almost done with the Old Testament 3 years later- I was reading one or two or zero chapters every night, so my progress was still progress I guess!haha)
ANYWAY. The Lord is jealous for you. He is crazy in love with His creation and all He wants is their hearts. The entire Old Testament is filled with God constantly and consistently running after His children. In Hosea, He gives them a real life version of what He feels for them and how they are treating Him. And in Zechariah, He is giving them a hope of a future, too good to be true- all because He is jealous FOR THEM & for you and me.
Guys, I know it is hard to understand, but the reason somethings happen are because we have lost sight of our one true Lover. We experience deserts and valleys not for punishment, because Jesus took that, but because He wants all of us. Our whole being- He wants it all. And He doesn’t want it in a selfish controlling way, but in a loving, graceful, perfect way. He just wants us. That’s it- plain and simple.
So will you give that to Him today? Because nothing and no one come close to Him- nothing could ever come close. He wants you, and He is waiting.
I’ve been trying to speak the Gospel of Grace over myself these last few days because I seem to easily forget all that Christ has done and is doing for me. My fears and worries stick, making me forget about His perfect grace- which is as frustrating as heck.
But that’s the beautiful thing about grace- even if you forget, He never does. Jesus takes your yoke so He can carry you. Meaning Jesus takes all your baggage, the weight, the shame, the fears, and replaces it with peace and grace that lift you back up to your feet.
I don’t know what you are holding onto this morning, but I know what I have and I just want to give it all to Jesus. And I can, because of the cross.
He wipes your slate clean, makes you new, takes your burdens, and gives you His grace to stand firm and persevere through the storms. So shake it all off guys, and fix your eyes on Jesus. He’s erased it all, so now take that grace and live in it today.
| Monday Mornings |
I framed this page from a super old bible that was falling apart about a year and a half ago because I was so in love with its message: He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Now, I am not saying that I am no longer in love with this verse anymore, but I do know that I want what Jesus says in this verse. I want the power of the Holy Spirit. And I want that power to take me to the ends of the earth. But you really can’t have one without the other. You can’t travel to the ends of the earth without the power of His Spirit, because when taking His hope to the ends of the earth, you will face trials and persecution- and you will need Him to pull you through. I heard of this persecution first hand when listening to a few young adults speaking about what they experienced during their trip to India a few weeks ago. We have all heard of the Christians facing persecution from their countries government, losing their family and fearing their lives because of the God they believe in, but these people saw it first hand. They heard their stories of faith and hope, of pain and loss, and what did those people say? They said that they would never leave where they are, they would never pray for the persecution to end because people are coming to Jesus.
Do you hear that? They ask for prayer for more faith, not for the ending of their persecution, because through that persecution others are finding Christ.
Man do I want that. I want the faith that holds firm not only in trials and struggles, but when faced with true, harsh persecution. And I need His power to take me there. I need His Spirit and I need to trust in His Spirit that He can take me there, because I have nothing to lose wth Him on my side.
Take a risk today guys- for Jesus, for others to just get a chance to hear of the hope that He brings. Trust His Spirit to lead you through it all.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.Steadfast love or from the Hebrew translation, hesed- which means loyal love, faithfulness, mercy, goodness, kindness, active and enduring, committed love.All I want to say this morning is this: read psalm 107 and focus on how the Lord redeems and saves through His steadfast love. In every situation, whether storm or drought, desert or valley, it is always the steadfast love of our Heavenly Father that pulls us through it all. That psalm is absolutely beautiful in the imagery of who we long for in our deepest troubles, and how God’s steadfast love meets every one of those longings. Why? Because He created us in His image, and loves his sons and daughters more than our words could ever express.Sit in His steadfast love this morning guys. Cause knowing God is on your side and will love you through it all, is all you will really ever need. #mondaymorningjesus
But I won’t get really far if I keep getting stuck, especially on the first three words of the second sentence of the book.
Temporary residents. Dispersed.
Honestly, thinking of this earth being my temporary home is beautiful and heart wrenching all at the same time-because I want so badly to be with Jesus but I still want to accomplish a whole lot here on earth. But that is the truth: our residency, as believers in His resurrection and blood poured on the cross, is temporary until He comes again. A scary, beautiful, mind-blowing thought, right?
But this is just not my temporary home, but every believers. Believers in my hometown, Prague, Asia and beyond. The promise and hope of His second coming and our eternal home is dispersed across the nations. We aren’t alone in our earthly battles and our prayers full of groans and fear. We are believers, dispersed but unified in the hope of Christ. A hope that promises that the crap we face ain’t always gunna be there.
UH this hope is so good but so big that my little mind can’t wrap itself around it all. So I am praying for His passion of His hope and saving grace to be placed in my heart more than ever before, so that my focus is Him, my eternal home with Him and all the people He loved, dispersed far and wide.
Imagine if we all had this passion. Imagine if we pressed hard in following the Lord, uniting together to tell the whole world of His saving grace and amazing love. Then this temporary home wouldn’t be so crummy all the time, but it would become a place of strength and power because of the unity of His sons and daughters, fighting for His glory and His perfect home
• Monday Morning Strides •
‘My soul followeth hard after thee. Thy right hand upholdeth me.’
So about 6 months ago my grandparents moved out of their home of 30 years, cleaning out every room and corner of the house. Even though it hurt to have them move out of a place I had grown up in, I loved every item that was passed down to me. Children’s books that my Nana read to my dad or that had my dad’s scribbles all over them. Hand written poems and picture frames, but best of all, bibles upon bibles upon bibles. Bibles given to my Nana when she was a young girl, and a bible owned, signed and used by my Great Grandma D.D herself. It was in this bible, over 100 years old, that I flipped to Psalm 63, purposefully knowing what I was about to read, but was in return blown away by how beautiful the Kings James version presented the psalm in a whole new way.
There’s something about the language used in King James that gives The Word of the Lord the reverence, righteousness and holiness that it deserves. And with this verse, in this language, it is so apparent how deeply David longed for his soul to seek The Lord. For he knew how The Lord had held him and protected him, and for that he would always seek hard after The Lord.
I love that language. I will ‘followeth hard’ after thee. What does following The Lord hard mean? What does it mean to pursue The Holy One, our Savior, our Maker, hard?
Hey I don’t have the answer, but heck I know I want this. I know I want to followeth my God hard, with every fiber in my being. I want Him to be my joy, my focus, my reason for every move I make, which means giving up my desires, my plans, and my old way of life.
How will you follow the Lord hard today? Tomorrow? This new year? The rest of your life? For He upholds you with His right hand, so how can you followeth Him hard in return?
| Monday Mornings |
“We simply don’t have the luxury of playing nice with prayer. Not if we want things to change. Not if we want to be free- from whatever’s keeping us held down and held back. Not if we want our hearts whole and thriving and deep and grounded…different. Not if we want to reach our destinies and experience God’s promises.” -Fervent
Is it okay for me to change up my Monday mornings a little bit? New year, new Monday mornings, right?
Well I was thinking of maybe keeping the words/devotions, but adding in things like today’s post, where I share how else I am growing spiritually in hopes to hear how any of y’all may be doing the same thing or something even better or just plain daily, Monday morning thoughts, you know?
Well assuming this is okay for y’all, here is today’s post: read and study God’s word with someone else. We need people, we need love, and we need help in this life, especially on the days that keeping faith is a little harder than we expected. And it doesn’t have to be just the bible that you read together- it can be the other buttload of books that strive to get you that much closer to Christ. This book, Fervent, is one of those books for me. One of my closest friends gave it to me for Christmas, and offered to read it with me- and I said heck yes. I LOVE book clubs, talking about books with other people, etc because I hear not only the authors point from another person’s eyes, but I can also hear that person’s heart for their Father and we grow in our faith together through that conversation.
I honestly just started this book, but the quote above has got me ecstatic for what I am about to dive into. And I’m not alone in the journey, which is even better!
So grab somebody you trust in helping you in your walk and get reading.
The new year is for this kind of stuff isn’t it? Oh and McDonald’s trumps Starbucks reading atmosphere because fries.
| Monday Mornings |
These two words have really hit me hard the last few days. After having a total of 2 weeks at home and still trying to catch up on rest and real adult life things, the feeling of defeat and hopelessness is still holding on tight to my future plans right now.
I want so badly to know my plans, to know my future and to know what the Lord is calling me to, and to know why He has chosen this path for me, but I can’t- and I won’t know those plans until I’m in them. I won’t know the ‘calling’ until I let go of all I am holding so tightly to in my life and let His love refine me and make me new.
In Malachi 3 the Lord says this about the coming of Jesus: ‘He will be like a refiner’s fire and like a cleansing lye. He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver.’ Some of you may have noticed that there was no Monday mornings last week, and that is because the refining that the Lord has been doing in my life right now has hurt so badly that I couldn’t even encourage myself through the pain. But as I listened to Matt Chandler during my Sunday morning quiet time, I heard these few words: don’t lose heart, God is working in the mess.
And man is my life a mess right now. Family, friends, and everything in between has been hit hard during this holiday season with a lot of hurt and a lot of hard news that my heart has just been ready to quit all together. Because what is hard is what He wants isn’t what I want. What keeps happening in my life is confusing and hard and frustrating to understand how it all got so messy. But I haven’t given up yet because God isn’t done yet. His love is refining me and purifying me, leading me to what He wants for my life. “God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.”
And I can’t trace His hand right now, but I can trust His heart, and so can you. Trust that the Lord’s love for you is a jealous love, a refining love, a perfect love that only wants the good for those who love Him.
So take heart, He is at work in the mess.
I know it is no longer Monday, I’m not going crazy, but I also know that this past weekend has been a whirlwind of events and Monday flew right past me.
With flying home from Prague, to watching my best friend graduate, to passing my student teaching oral defense and officially graduating myself, leaving my college campus for the last time, and getting home from being away for 10 weeks, I can say that I NEED to rest, and resting don’t come easy to me.
It was exactly a year ago when I posted this same word/piece of paper, and I can remember how completely exhausted I was when I wrote the post for it. But now, a whole year later, I can say that I feel the same exact exhausted feeling, but even more so than I did then- so when I saw this post on my time hop, it was crazy how much I needed to see it.
Sometimes we need to rest guys, and even though the sabbath day is meant to be a Sunday, I so strongly believe that rest is needed in order for us to get back on our feet. We need to take the breaks the Lord gives us and soak in the time we so desperately need to just breathe and relax from our hectic schedules. Resting doesn’t just mean sleeping, it means slowing down and taking in all that is around us. It means not running around like a mad man, but sitting with family and friends and enjoying our time with them. Whether you are graduated, finishing your finals/semester or just living that awesome adult life (a little sarcastic because adulting is hard), make sure you take time to rest. Yes this season is the hardest time of the year to do so, but man is rest so needed during this crazy time too.
Rest is needed so we can stop and breathe. It means stopping to actually take time in the word and prayer, to just sit in who our God is, and to stop thinking long enough to count our blessings rather than your to-do list.
Believe me, the last thing I want to do is rest right now. I am graduated, with no job, no apartment, no nothing set up for my future, yet the lord is asking me to slow down and trust Him and take this time to REST.
| Monday Mornings |
My heart will stay steadfast.
| I stand with so many questions
But You know all of the answers
And whether this side of Heaven
I know that You are the Healer
And my heart will stay steadfast
I know that You are good
And my heart will stay steadfast
I know that You are good
Comforter You are to me
Shelter from the cold
Constant how You carry me
Never letting go
You are with me |
It’s hard to keep pushing forward. It’s hard to keep fighting when you don’t know what you’re fighting for, you don’t the outcome and you are lost as heck to where The Lord is in all of it.
But no matter how hard things hard, my heart will stay steadfast for the One who redeems. My heart will stay steadfast for my Healer, my Deliverer and the One who is faithful through it all.
Yes it is tough guys, to keep going when things seem to drown you, but remember the One you serve. Remember the One who loves you deeply, the One who is a good good Father, the One who will carry you through it all.
Stay steadfast friends. He is in control, and His promises will never fail.
| Monday Mornings |
ty jsi jediný Buh.
There is something powerful about hearing a song sung boldly in a different language than your own. And there is something powerful about a song sung boldly in the language of a place that is known as an atheist country. But what is even more powerful, are the words that were sung: ty jsi jediný Buh = You’re the only God.
Singing those words is powerful, but singing those words united in Christ is unstoppable. It is scary to be so far from home, yet so close to the fear of this world, but He is the only God. It is unbearable at times to wake up with anxiety and no motivation for the day, but He is the only God.
Guys when we say those words together, we proclaim a truth that this world, every nation and every person needs to hear. We are proclaiming His kingdom, His salvation, and His reign, and right now, with fear in the hearts of many and our daily struggles as sinners, we need to be united in the truth that we serve a God who is bigger and stronger than the fears we face.
He is the only God, and He reigns, so we will have no fear. He is our God, the jediný Buh.
| Monday Mornings |
Even when it hurts like hell, I’ll still praise you.
Now don’t freak out! I know, I used the word hell, but it’s actually lyrics from a song off Hillsongs’ new album. I went to their concert this summer and I remember hearing them say it, seeing some people look around like “um, did you just hear that?” and then I felt the pull in my heart of: man those words could not be more true.
We have to be honest, sometimes life gets so dang hard that we can say things hurt like hell. Things hurt deep and stay deep, sometimes for a long time, and I think it is fair to say that that hurt, can hurt like something you’ve never felt before.
Life has its ups and its downs, and our downs can be hard, but there is only one truth through it all: our hope in Jesus. So when I say ‘man this is hurting like heck right now’ I can also say “but I will still praise you Father because you are my hope and my strength. You are the only one who can get me through.” As Christians we are called to endure and persevere through our faith, even when it hurts like heck and we can’t see the other side. Hebrews 12 hits this truth straight on, and reminds us of the race we are enduring and the strength we will soon receive: No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. | Hebrews 12:11
If you’re hurting and hurting like heck, praise Him still. If it all seems to be hanging by a thread, praise Him still. Because He still reigns, He still loves you and He will get you through.
Oh and my friends at the WU? Get some good praise in this morning at chapel. He deserves all the praise He can get- and you never know how valuable that time of praise is until you no longer have it!
| Monday Mornings |
We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. | 2 Corinthians 3:18
I don’t know about you all, but I want this. I so badly want to be transformed into more of Him every day. I want His spirit to humble me and transform me into His glory.
But that is not how a transformation works. A transformation takes time, it takes breaking to be put back together again. It takes waiting and waiting patiently for Him to do His work. Transformation may be confusing and it may hurt, but He will reward you and bless you through it all. Yes, when I look into the mirror, I am so frustrated with the way that I fail Him, but man are His mercies and grace new every morning, refreshing me and reminding me that His work takes time. Transformation takes time, and I have been given the time of student teaching overseas for just that: transforming my mind and my heart in ways that will glorify Him.Soak in the time of transformation. Desire to be changed for your good and His glory. Desire Him and you will change.
• Monday Morning Strides •
This truth is so relevant to my life right now that I hopped outta bed this morning, ran outside and snapped a picture of my feet to make this morning’s devotion a Monday Morning Strides rather than just a regular old Monday Morning. (I really wanted some fall colors in it too❤🍂).
Have you ever wondered how to humble yourself? Humility is the big thing God is teaching me right now, and it is hard for me to just drop all my pride and humble myself in one full swoop– but that isn’t what the Lord asks of us. In 1 Peter 5:6-7, Peter says: Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.
It is crazy how I have missed such an important truth within those two verses-I usually just say, ‘oh yeah I have to humble myself’ and then read on and say ‘yes I need to cast my cares on Him’ but never have a I ever realized that those two verses are joined together, stating that you humble yourself BY casting my cares on Him.
We can humble ourselves by throwing all of our worry about life, all our anxieties and control over our future on Him. By literally casting out our nets and laying down, at His feet, the hard truth that we don’t have it all together, we are instantly humbled and brought closer to Him.
Guys the only way to humility is by casting all our burdens on Him and watching Him do the work. THAT is humbling: when the mighty hand of God takes care of you and exalts you through your obedience, faith and humility, you can’t help but fall to your knees in praise.
This just happened and is happening in my life right now, and yes it is hard to throw it all at His feet, but man is it more than rewarding to see Him do His mighty work without any of my help (cause he don’t need it).
Throw it at the cross guys- that’s what He came for.
| Monday Mornings |
He is the Good Shepherd.
Wow this is such good truth. In John 10 Jesus says this: “The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice”....So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
He is our Good Shepherd. A Shepherd who knows His sheep by name, a Shepherd who protects His flock, feeds them their daily bread and leads them beside still waters.
Wherever you are, you have a Good Shepherd who loves you, who knows what you are going through and who is leading you every step of the way.
Rest in that truth today.
| Monday Mornings |
This has started to be my prayer for this trip- that The Lord will fill me up so that I can be just completely poured out. I want to love on everyone one of my kids, every person I meet, new or old. I want to learn how to serve with His kingdom purpose in mind.
I truly pray that you all can take this perspective this week, and the next and the next. Dive into His word, talk with Him and lean on Him, to where He can fill you up then pour you out in everything around you.
Ask Him to fill you up- I’m more than positive He will surprise you in what He gives to those who ask.
P.s. That’s a castle in the background.
• Monday Morning Strides •
Well, it is Monday, and it’s morning. I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep, I’m sick, and I have 2 days left of student teaching before I leave my school, go home for 2 days, then fly on over to Prague for my second teaching placement. With being so exhausted and worn right now, it is so easy for me to wish away the days until I get to Prague, or think past my time in Prague to my unknown future after I graduate in December— but that’s not what we are called to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love day dreaming and I love planning, but when we put our hope in future things, we lose track of where we are now.
We are called to lean on the Lord for our daily bread, not our weekly, monthly or heck, yearly bread. We are called to rest in Him daily, to fix our eyes on Him and just live out our DAYS with Him.
Believe me, it’s hard not to plan out the future, but I have felt really pulled by The Lord to stop looking towards the future because I am missing all the blessings of the present. Shoutout to my girl Kels who mentioned to me: that she was so present at her camp counselor job this summer, which lead her to enjoy and love where she was at without wishing it all away by thinking of the times that were to come– I want to be that way. I want to just be present where I am, present where The Lord has me, and soak in all His goodness while I’m there.
Be careful not to miss out on the joys and blessings He has given you today guys. He is your daily bread, so just look to Him today, and be present wherever you are.
| Monday Mornings |
You’re a good, good Father.
It’s hard to remember that our life is in someone else’s hands. And it’s even harder to remember to trust that those hands will hold you up even when you’re too weak to stand.
But what is so beautiful is that those hands that are holding you belong to a good, good Father who will never leave your side. Those hands belong to a King who will always protect your heart, no matter how broken you may feel.
He is a good, good Father guys. Cling to Him and the hope He brings, because He only wants good for you, and His promises will never fail.
| Monday Mornings |
‘A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.’ John 10:10
I could not figure out how to write this verse down, as you can see, because I could write it 5, 6, 7, or 100 times and still be blown away that the Lord just wants to give us life and give us life abundantly, when all the devil wants is to steal, kill and destroy all the good that you have in the Lord.
I cannot explain how much I have felt like the evil one has been trying to steal my joy and destroy my heart for the Lord, but honestly it’s cool to know that the only reason he is picking on me is because The Lord is doing some good things in my life. Gosh God has some good thing a planned for me, and the devil knows that, but I will not let him steal my joy because that is not what Jesus came for.
Jesus came for us to have life and have it abundantly, so cherish that truth today. Don’t let the evil one steal all the good God has given you. Don’t let him try to shake your solid foundation in Christ, because with Christ you are free and you have life to the fullest, and why would we ever want to let the thief take that away from us when we have Christ’s power within us?
•Monday Morning Strides•
Walk and live by faith.
I started a word study on the word “faith” because I felt like I had no idea what it meant to walk in my faith, by biblical standards at least. And the first verse of my study said this: but the righteous man will live by his faith (Habakkuk 2:4). What I realized after reading that was this: I don’t think I have been doing that very well. I don’t think I have been living by my faith at all recently. I honestly have been going through the motions, reading my bible in the morning and at night, and slowly but surely drifting away from living by my faith into living by my fear.
My fear drove some stupid anxieties that I had no idea why they popped up until The Lord met me during a worship service last night. Instead of living by my faith and trusting in Him, I was living by my fear and holding onto the little control I had of my life- and the reason I got so anxious was because I literally had no control over the things that were causing me anxiety, and gosh the Lord didn’t want that for me.
And He doesn’t want it for you either. We have to give up our control, let off the gas, and step back and realize that it is a beautiful thing to be free in Jesus and it is an even more incredible thing to know that He has control over it all.
So walk by faith, not by fear. And live by your faith in Christ, not by the fear that is hindering you from following His will. He has control, so walk in Him and choose to live by that faith this lovely Monday morning.
| Monday Mornings |
I will not leave you as orphans.
I am coming to you.
And that someone is the Holy Spirit.In SheReadsTruth, they described the Spirit’s constant presence this way: “When we are attacked, He is our defense. When we grieve, He is our peace. When we lack understanding, He is our wisdom. When we wander away, He calls us home. When we fear our hope is in vain, He is our guarantee.”The Spirit is our guarantee. And man what a beautiful guarantee that is- that we were never left as orphans. That Jesus left but came back to and for us.Rest in that today and know that He is always with you, fighting for you and guiding you every step of the way.
| Monday Mornings |
|…Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. | Matthew 25:24-27
I used to be so incredibly confused by this parable. I never understood why the guy who played it safe was punished for being smart- but that’s because I’m always the one to play it safe. I’m always the one to follow the rules and never bend them. But that is not what Jesus came for. That is not what we are called to. Now don’t get me wrong, we should follow the laws of the land and the rules of our household- I don’t mean those rules. I mean our comfort zone rules, our ‘take the safe side’ rules. God calls us to take risks for His kingdom, He calls us to bend ourselves for His kingdom. And the longer we wait in the safety of our comfortability the more people of whom we come in contact with are missing out on the freedom of Christ.
Jesus is a risk. Believing in His word and in His redemption is a risk. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. It’s a risk that when we step out of our comfort zone and give God a chance to use our gifts and talents, that He gave us, that is when our risk becomes our reward.
What risk are you pushing away because you want to play it safe? What God-given talent are you hiding away? What’s your risk that you’re willing to take for the Kingdom?
| Monday Mornings |
I strive to be an ambassador for Christ
|…He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.| 2 Corinthians 5:19-21
I have been asked to be a social ambassador for @simplybeloved, and what is so cool is how they call the position ‘ambassador’. It’s a position where I lift up their ministry, where I encourage others to be a part of what they are doing. And as I was typing up my first post for them, I really felt The Lord put this call on my heart this year. Not to only to be an ambassador for them but for Him. I was and still kinda am terrified of teaching, and I sometimes even feel like I am doing nothing for the kingdom while I am at school, but then God put this call on my heart, saying “Stop. This is what I have called you to do and to be. So be Me in those classrooms, proclaim My Name. Appeal for Me. Encourage for Me. Teach for Me.” So that is what I am doing this semester, using these few verses to kinda be my anthem. I want to lift up His name in all that I do. I want to encourage others in His name, giving them a soft nudge towards His mercy and grace that is waiting for Him.
And imagine, what would happen if we all took this call of being an ambassador for Christ seriously?
Lift His name today, in whatever you are doing. Proclaim His name and His Gospel.
•Monday Mornings Strides•.
Grow in the knowledge of the ‘I AM’
I’ve made myself promise to keep growing in the knowledge of Him. Because there is nothing better, nothing sweeter, nothing more beautiful than knowing His love and His story. There is nothing better then meeting with the great I AM daily, surrendering it all and knowing that He is I AM.
I think we can easily forget that when we dive into the word instantly searching for how it speaks to us, what we can get out of it, the answers that we want- we are missing the bigger story. We are missing it just like Moses did when he met God through the burning bush. We throw our weaknesses, our failures, our worries and our fears at God, trying to justify why we can’t do what He has called us to do, when the whole time He is saying: I AM.
I AM is what we are missing- I AM is what the whole Bible is about. It is His story, His redemption, His salvation that we get to encounter every day. When we read His word, we will grow in the knowledge of Him, the knowledge of His story, a story that changes us from the inside out. | Learned/inspired from “Women of the Word- Jen Wilkin”
Dive into the great I AM today. Give him your all- you won’t be disappointed.
Jen Wilkin says it perfectly: “The children of God have hearts of fertile soil. We are able to hear and receive the Word, and when patience has done its work, to bear much fruit.” When reading God’s word, searching for His promises to quench our thirst, there will be confusion and dissonance.
We have to allow dissonance to linger; we have to allow confusion to push us deeper.
The bible isn’t going to make much sense sometimes. And what is even more frustrating is that God doesn’t work on our time table. We have to be patient and trust in His everlasting living water that will quench our earthly thirst. We have to study His word. We have to allow ourselves to get confused and frustrated in our study so that He can plant His fruit- then our patience will allow His living water to make it grow.
| Monday Mornings |
Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender.
Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender. Say that another time or two, and let it just sit for a second. The freedom that we long for will come with our daily surrender to The Lord. Man, that’s a tough truth because everything in us wants what we want, which means surrendering our desires and burdens is not as easy as it sounds. But what if you put surrender into perspective? What if you saw your surrender as laying down yourself so that Jesus can sing victory over you? What if we focused on Christ’s freedom and ran after Him instead? What if we saw surrender as freedom rather than having to give up something of our own?
What can you surrender today that will bring you freedom tomorrow?
Who are you surrounded by today? How can you DO the whole ‘love you your neighbor as yourself’ thing today?
| Monday Mornings |
i am set free.
[You broke my chains of sin and shame And You covered me with grace And You mend my life with Your holy fire You cover me with grace. And You are the hand that reaches out. to save, and i am set free, oh it is for freedom that i am set free] All Sons and Daughters
It was hard for me to celebrate America this weekend. Not because of Supreme Court decisions or church bombings, but because yes, we are free here in America, but man is that freedom so cold and dry compared to the freedom we have in Christ. All Sons and Daughters hit this idea of freedom in Christ right on the mark with the lyrics above. Christ set us free from sin and shame, covered us in grace, and reaches out daily to renew us and save us, even when we bow down to sin and worship earthly freedom before we look to Him. Guys, Christ died to just let us be free. It was for our freedom that Christ hung on the cross to set us free from the shame and guilt that sin so deceivingly holds against us.
So yes, it is good to celebrate the freedom we have in this country, for we would not have what we have without it, but let’s not forget the eternal freedom that was given to us and is given to us every morning when we wake, a freedom that no earthly freedom can compare. And let’s be careful because I kinda really think our freedoms here on earth and in America seem to lead us away from our real freedom in Christ.
So let’s celebrate America’s freedom this holiday weekend, but still forgetting not where our true freedom lies.
| Monday Mornings |
_| Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. | Hebrews 12:1-2
I think that we unknowingly live stuck in shame and guilt. It’s a hidden kind of shame, hiding behind our Instagram accounts and Facebook walls. We are ashamed of who we are so we put on a face so that people think our lives are better and hipper and cooler than they really are. But, what are you ashamed of? What in you or what about you is there to be ashamed of? Jesus came, lived, and died to set us free from that shame and guilt of us not being good enough, pretty enough or smart enough. Jesus set us free from the shameful weight of comparison and perfection, perfecting us in Him and through Him. Because of Christ we can stand blameless, beautiful, and unashamed before our Father. Because of Jesus we can live unashamed of who we are because who we are is a perfect son or daughter of our Father in Heaven.
Set your eyes on Jesus today, and believe that you can live unashamed.
• Monday Morning Strides •
but we have the mind of Christ.
I don’t know how to share the gospel. I feel like it is a roller coaster ride though, this feeling or passion to share the love of Christ, a roller coaster ride that always seems to be taking a sharp turn right when I start to get the hang of things. Last summer I was so incredibly passionate about serving my community, trying so hard to serve with the homeless in my home town, singing worship songs on the streets and creating relationships with people that were in some tough spots. I had this drive, this desire to just share the love of Christ and once my anxiety hit, BOOM it was gone. I had to take time to care for myself and in the process I lost my drive. I’ve been struggling with this loss of “passion” for the lost, frustrated with myself that I don’t know what to even say when I want to talk to people of Jesus. But as I have been reading 1 Corinthians, The Lord has been really trying to show me that it’s not my wisdom, my knowledge or my power – and especially not my words – that will bring people to Him. It is His Spirit working through me that will do all the work- if I let Him. We have been given the mind of Christ so that we may have that knowledge, wisdom, and power to proclaim Him to the nations. We have nothing to boast in but Him, so we have to trust in Him to do the work in us.
So I’m praying, I’m reading, and I’m trying to truly lean on not my foolish knowledge and wisdom but instead trusting in His power and His words to be spoken through me by His spirit.
Funny how He could do it all yet He uses us, such weak vessels to spread His freeing love and grace. Gosh that truth gets me every time.
What are you trying to learn or work towards recently? What can I be praying for for you?
• Monday Morning Strides •
Anybody super impatient 87% of the time, like me? Anybody get angry real quick and speak out of turn, like me? Man is this something I need to work on. I need to work on replacing my impatience, rude reactions, and quick words with patience, gentleness, and goodness- sound like traits of someone you know? We need to be praying and seeking after the heart and Spirit of God, allowing Him to work in our hearts and in our lives. We can’t be like Jesus without His help.
So let’s be slow to speak and slow to anger. Let’s stop and listen to others before we start blasting our opinions and selfish wants. Let’s grab hold of Jesus, leaning into His grace, asking Him to work in us – because the fruits of the Spirit come from a relationship in tune and in step with The Lord.
| Monday Mornings |
So then, my brothers, you are dearly loved and longed for, my joy and crown. Stand firm in the Lord, dear friends. | Philippians 4:1
No longer morning, huh? Well that’s summer for ya! Something that I have been trying so hard to do is standing firm in who God is and standing firm in His promises. So I encourage y’all to stand firm in Him today, tomorrow and forever. Wherever you may be, wherever you may have fallen, He will never change. Stand firm in His grace, believing that He can sustain you and lead you through whatever comes your way.
He will sustain you. He is your joy. He is your peace.
Stand firm in The Lord.
| Monday Mornings |
Guys I am going to be honest: I have really stunk at digging into The Word the last few weeks. I have had great insights from others, great realizations as I tried to build myself up through my own words, but not once did I just sit and read His Word. Not once did I journal about His truth or sit in prayer with Him, asking Him to lead me as I tried to figure out my crazy life. So that’s what I encourage y’all to do today. I know you’ve got the day off- so go read your bible. Go read His word. Go soak in scripture that was inspired and breathed by God Himself. Just spend 30 minutes in conversation with God through His word and prayer. It’s hard, I know, but He will meet you. Just be expectant, ask for His Spirit, and seek Him with a pure heart.
Take a break and read. I promise you you will not regret it.
•Monday Morning Strides•
If we endure, we will also reign with Him.
This saying is trustworthy:
For if we have died with Him,
we will also live with Him;
if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. | 2 Timothy 2:11-13
| Monday Mornings |
•My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. | John 10:27-28•
Starting this morning, I want to try something different with these Monday Morning devotions. This year I have been really convicted about truly knowing God’s Word and using His Word to lift myself and others up daily. So on that note, I’m thinking its time to switch up Monday Mornings yet again. Every other Monday or maybe even every one, I am going to offer up a verse or more in hopes that we can memorize it together. My words that I write in the picture may not match it perfectly, but I hope that they can lead you to memorizing the real verse that my words stem from. Knowing His Word and knowing what full verses or chapters in the bible are about will make every day so much easier to get through. Let’s face it, life can be so hard and we constantly are needing to remind ourselves of the Truth and the good- what better way to do that than memorizing scripture that you can repeat on those tough days? I hope this verse will encourage you today: He knows you and you know His voice. All you have to do is be still and listen.
If you want the full picture that I post (even though this one isn’t that great) to help you memorize the scripture, message/ email me and I can send it to you!
| Monday Mornings |
My pastor at my home church started a new series called Spirit Led, and while preaching, He spoke this simple statement. When we proclaim Jesus as our Savior and The Son of Man, we then enter a covenant with God, receiving a spirit of adoption where we can cry out Abba Father. When we enter into this covenant, we become a a child of God, a heir of God, heirs that are called to suffer with Him and glorify Him.
But we all know that we really stink at keeping this covenant. We back away more than we should, we question, we doubt and we wander. Guys, we all stray because we are all sinners. But God never strays. He is constant, faithful, and Holy. He values the covenant that He has made with us and He never leaves us.
We’ve all been there, crying out Abba Father! for the hundredth time because we once again have failed Him. But our short comings only make His grace and mercy that much stronger. Our failures bring Him the glory He deserves. Our weak hearts and earthly flesh are made that much stronger by His power and His blood.
Walk in that truth today: that even when you have given up, He never will.
| Romans 8:15-17, Romans 5, 1 Timothy 1:12-17 |
| Monday Mornings |
In Your presence there is freedom,
In Your presence we are made whole.
In all honesty, I don’t know where I am at in my relationship with The Lord. This doesn’t mean I am going off the deep end, but it means that I feel like after taking 5 steps forward I have now taken 4 steps back and I don’t know where to go. My anxiety has almost disappeared (Praise Him!) and over the last few weeks, I felt so close to Him, but now I feel as if I am at a stand still. My choir at school sang the song ‘Found in You’ at graduation this past weekend, and that phrase was the bridge of the song. And when we sang that song, it was then that I realized that Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy, but He did promise that His faithfulness will never fail. No matter where I am at, sluggish in my relationship with Him or confused of how to move forward, Jesus is still my shelter, and His presence will always make me whole. No matter how lost I feel, He is always there. His presence gives me peace and reminds me of all He has done and is doing now.
Rest in that today- rest in His beautiful, freeing presence. The Spirit is always moving and He is always right by your side, it’s just that sometimes you have to stop looking so dang hard in order to see that He is right there beside you. | …the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. | John 14:17-18
Love each other deeply.
| Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. | 1 Peter 1:22-23
Love each other because of the love Christ had for you to die for you. Love each other because your Father in heaven loves you and He will never forsake you. Love each other deeply because that is what He calls you to do.
In no way am I perfect in this. I honestly think I am the most selfish person I know, and my selfish desires will not go away until I turn to The Lord, love Him first then love His people second. Serving others is tough because it tests our self-focused lives, but when we think about how we are called to love others because He loved us, then we start to see the bigger picture: His Kingdom coming.
So love each other deeply today ladies and gents, for The One who is the most Holy has called you to do so. He loves you, so why not love others?
| Monday Mornings |
Since you have tasted
that The Lord is good.
“Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, since you have tasted that The Lord is good.” | 1 Peter 2:2
I have read through 1 Peter about twice now, and I may need to read it maybe 276 more times in order to grasp all the truth that it holds. But this verse has got me recently because it really knocks you in the head. If you flip it around it says: since you have tasted that the Lord is good, you should desire spiritual milk so that you may grow by it for your salvation. Or plainly, since we have tasted the goodness of God we should desire Him like never before. And as believers I am sure we have felt this way. It is easy to let busyness, stress, relationships, whatever it may be get in our way to where we are caught feeling weary and empty and we don’t know why. For me, I feel that way because I didn’t make time for God in my routine of life. There is something missing, some void that I haven’t been able to fill.
Guys the Lord is good, and we who believe in Him and His son have tasted that and are constantly surrounded by His presence, but we have to acknowledge Him and desire His word on our own in order to grow in Him and in His goodness. If we are not digging into His word or spending time in prayer, we are missing such a great and wonderful relationship with our one true God and Father.
So I encourage you, if you have tasted that The Lord is good, act on it. Show Him that you know that. Search for Him and you will find Him. He is worthy of our praise.
_- I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves, where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone.-
| Monday Mornings: April 6th |
“What next Papa?”
Someone asked this question a few weeks ago and it really stuck with me. How often do we wake upon expectancy, with that eager, joyful question, asking our Father: “what’s next Papa?” When was the last time we woke up excited for God’s will in our lives, asking Him what can we do for Him and what can He do through us? It is such a beautiful thing to live in expectancy. It is a wonderful feeling to live, waiting on The Lord, wanting Him to move and sitting patiently (maybe a little impatiently) for His beautiful plans to fall into place. I’ve learned to live like this, to live in this expectancy, offering myself as something to be used by Him. I’m a beginner for sure, but let me tell you, wanting and eagerly waiting for my Papa’s plans to unfold instead of my own is an amazing feeling.
As Easter weekend comes to a close, one thing sticks with me: Jesus saying, “Not my will, but yours be done Father.” That is living in expectancy and in waiting for Him to move. It is saying, “He daddy, I trust you so do what you will because I am here for you.”
Guys I can’t tell you how freeing that is. Every moment I start to feel anxious I just think about how I am His and He is my Father- meaning all I have is His and He has it all in His hands.
Wake up and live in expectancy for the Father to do His will in your life today- and tomorrow and the next. Be available and willing for Him to use you, waking up and expecting The Lord to do great things (with us, such weak vessels) because we all know He can and He will. And tell me it doesn’t free you.
| Monday Mornings: March 30th, 2015 |
He loves you.
Guys that is what the cross is and was and forever will be: His love poured out for us. God’s son, first given away by the Father, put to death by His people, and then risen from the grave- all because He wanted to be with us. This idea of Christ rising from the grave is so hard to grasp, but just think of it this way: Our Father gave up His Son because He wanted us. He wanted us to feel no more shame, no more fear- ONLY His love. We were the ones that He hung on that cross for. Because He loved us, He died. Come on people, that is true love! And now that He is here with us, He is showing us love more than ever before. That is the hope we carry: His love and His faithfulness.
I have finally accepted His love, knowing that He is my Papa, my Father who loves me more than I could ever imagine. A love that never changes, a love that is never ending and never fading. His love is constant. Rest in that today guys. Know that He loves you. So much.
•Monday Morning Strides: March 23rd, 2015•
Hallelujah, praise The Lord! We can sing, say, and praise Him no matter where we are at, no matter what we are going through because He deserves the praise, He deserves the honor. Amen?
I just recently started studying The Lord’s power, searching through scripture and looking for ways in which The Lord demonstrates His power. Whether that be through raising a man from the dead or simply His love being poured out in mighty ways. What I have found is that man, The Lord truly can do more than we can ever imagine. His power is in His Spirit, in His hope, in His love. And through His power, miraculous things happen. Not just Moses and the Red Sea kind of miracles, but miracles like the transformation and sanctification of you and me. So I encourage you all to trust in His power today. Trust that He can do immeasurably more than you could ever imagine and remember that you are powerful IN Him. I mean, the power of His spirit raised Christ from the dead! Hallelujah!
Then, share how The Lord’s power has been working in your life through your own Monday Morning Strides post. I want to see how He is shaping you all!
| And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. | Romans 8:11
•Monday Morning Strides: March 16th, 2015•
| God who foresaw your tribulation has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain. |
Every morning I wake up anxious- like gut churning, thoughts already moving anxiousness. There’s literally no wait time, i wake up and I’m already anxious. I could count on my ten fingers the number of mornings that I did not wake up anxious, and for every one of those I praise the Lord. But the cool thing is, being anxious forces me to yearn for God. Waking up with anxious thoughts forces me to automatically turn to Him. My anxious heart and mind is training me to always think of The Lord and His power and control. Anxiousness is my tribulation and the discipline that the Lord is leading me through right now. We all have something like this, something that is hard and painful and frustrating to go through, but man it is good to know that it is for His glory and our good. Amen?
So rest in Him today and know that whatever you are going through, it is for your good, making your faith and trust in the Lord that much stronger.
| Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. | Hebrews 12:9-11
| Monday Mornings |
Jesus, I am yours.
These 4 words have gotten me through a lot recently. And honestly, this small saying is so hard to remember. But what is so beautiful is that no matter what you are experiencing, no matter what you’re suffering from, and no matter what you cannot understand about life, Jesus is always holding you. Jesus is your constant. He is the cornerstone, our strong foundation. He wants you to lean on Him, trust Him with all your might, and fully lean into Him every morning when you wake. Trust is tough, but fear of life and worrying is a waste of time and energy, so choose to lean into Jesus instead of the lies of the evil one. He only wants good for you, and He has a plan for whatever you may be facing. So trust Him and know that you are His.
And what is written around the word ‘yours’ are truths about the Lord. We are His because He is our defender, He is our King, He is faithful, He is our deliverer, He is our Father, He is our healer and comforter. Seriously that list is never ending, and even knowing that He is everything and more is so beautiful as well.
| For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” | 1 Peter 2:6| So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. | Isaiah 28:16