“Fear not,” said the angel to the shepherds in the field. “Be strong and courageous,” said the Lord to David. “Peace I leave with you,” said Jesus to His disciples. God calls us to a calmness, a peace, and yet all too often, we choose chaos and fear. I’ve seen it far too much in America over the past few months. When the presidential election was looming back in November, I felt a complete peace. When Donald Trump was elected, that peace stayed. And as he is inaugurated and our nation begins to change, I still feel a peace. Why? Because I know it’s all gonna be okay.
It’s almost Thanksgiving! I love this time of year! The weather has finally cooled off, I’ve been making memories with my husband, families are coming together to celebrate, and everyone just seems a little bit happier. 🙂 But it’s also a crazy season for so many of us. We’re traveling across the state, trying to see both families, bringing food to different celebrations … It can be a little bit stressful. So before we jump head first into the Thanksgiving celebrations, I want to take a few moments to inspire thankfulness in your heart. We all have so much to be thankful for, and I want us to remember and reflect on that. Take a moment to breathe, and let’s look at 7 verses to inspire thankfulness.
On November 8, 2016, we will elect the 45th president of the United States of America. The majority of America feels like neither major party candidate is fit for the job. Many of our rights are in jeopardy, and our presidential choice will absolutely determine the future of this nation. The next four years could be some of the worst in our history. And yet, I’m not afraid. I should be afraid. It makes sense to be afraid. But still, I can’t be afraid. Allow me to explain why the election doesn’t scare me.
I love being married! People say that marriage is hard, but we haven’t experienced that. We’ve been in difficult life situations, sure, but marriage is the good part of it. Even when life is bad, marriage is good. We were at a wedding not too long after we got married and there was a place to write advice for the couple. Caleb wrote one simple piece of advice, and it suddenly made sense why our marriage is so good, so beautiful. I want to share that with you: one piece of advice for a beautiful marriage.
Jesus Calling. My Utmost For His Highest. Anything by Beth Moore. They’re devotionals that almost all of us have at least one copy of on our night stand, in our book case, or somewhere on our Kindle. Devotional books are meant to encourage you and help you grow deeper in God’s Word. They’re wonderful; they really are. But I see so many women who dive into their devotional books first thing every morning, soaking up every word, but rarely open their Bible. Is that what God is calling us to? I don’t believe so; I believe He has so much more for us! Are your devotionals actually distracting you from God? To find out, here are some questions to ask yourself.
“When my fears, like Jericho, build their walls around my soul; when my heart is overthrown, Your love is my battle cry, the anthem for all my life.” (Every Giant Will Fall – Rend Collective)
I struggle with anxiety. It’s been a lifelong struggle, but it has really come to light in the past few years. In the past, I’ve struggled with anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and physical pain caused by anxiety. By the sheer and utter grace of God, I have overcome that severity, but the devil still wants in, so he attacks me in little ways.
Caleb and I have several young married friends who have suffered miscarriages recently. It is painful beyond words to watch our friends go through this, and to imagine ourselves in their shoes is unbearable. We’re a young married couple, and we may start a family soon, so the devil thought he could sneak in and attack me here. Yesterday at church, during altar call, our pastor was praying over his 9 year old little girl who is fighting an infection in her finger. Something about praying over kids always brings me to tears, but before I even knew what hit me, I was down the trail of what ifs. What if that’s us here in a few years? What if our baby was sick, or I had a difficult pregnancy, or we lost a baby?
After graduating college, I spent two years teaching in public school. The first year, I taught 4th and 5th grade reading, writing, and social studies. The second year, I taught 6th through 10th grade technology, as well as advising the yearbook. After my second year, I resigned to be a homemaker.
Both years had their ups and downs. I loved my kids and I loved being able to teach them. Though I love being a homemaker, there are moments when I sometimes miss teaching. Teachers are a special breed of people, and I don’t say that just because I was a teacher. 😉 It takes someone gifted to be able to pour into children and dedicate their lives to shaping these kids into adults, teaching them not just academics, but morals and life lessons.
However, it’s not just the kids that are taught lessons. My students, as well as my fellow teachers, taught me a lot of life lessons during my short time teaching, and I think they’re crucial. Here are 4 lessons that I learned in my 2 years of teaching.
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We live in a world dominated by fear. Cultures fear their way of life is being threatened. Officers fear their safety is being threatened. Citizens fear their rights are being threatened. It is far too easy for the devil to wrap us up in his lies of fear and uncertainty and strip away from us the peace that passes all understanding. We cannot choose to live in fear. As Christians, we must stand tall, strengthen our stance, and fight for the peace that God promised us.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
The search for peace often comes up empty because we are looking in the wrong places. We look for peace in our friends, our family, our spouses, yet that is not where God has placed our peace. Our peace is in God alone, and we must look to Him to find it and experience it.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
Music helps me. I find the peace of God in a guitar strum, a gentle voice, a violin in the background. I believe God uses music to touch the hearts of His people. I want to share with you 6 songs that God has used to touch my heart with peace in times of fear.
Today is July 4th, Independence Day. It is a day of celebration for our country. We are proud to be Americans. But for us, it’s another celebration, as well. Today, Caleb and I have been married 100 days! Yaaayyyyy! It’s been amazing, and we know that it will only be greater as we go. We are enjoying our life now and we are so excited for the future and everything that it holds. 🙂
I read a blog post the other day from Heaven and Hearth entitled Marriage Isn’t Hard (click the link to visit that post). Kali is wise beyond her years. In her post, she talks about how the phrase “marriage is hard, but worth it” has essentially become a mantra in the Christian culture. She disagrees, as do I. Is marriage worth it? Absolutely. Is marriage hard? No. Sin is hard, and we are sinful creatures. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” [1 Corinthians 15:10] God’s grace enables us to live a life pursuing His holy desires, and enables our marriages to be filled with grace, love, and mercy.
This is not to say that hard times will not come. Many of you will look at this and roll your eyes because we’ve been married a little over three months and of course nothing difficult could have happened during that time. (You would be wrong.) In fact, quite a few people have told us something to the effect of, “Oh, sure, marriage is good in the beginning, but you just wait.” If that is you, please stop. Speak life into newlyweds, please. We know that there will be difficult paths to navigate, but by the grace of God and with His mercy, we will triumph.
Marriage is good. We love it. We love each other. We’ve learned a lot about each other, marriage, and God in the last 100 days, and we want to share some of that with you.
Being an adult is hard, am I right? We’re asked to make decisions that don’t make sense half the time, to think about our future, and to step out in faith. It’s scary, it’s stressful, and sometimes we royally screw it up. There’s no formula to follow to make a right decision, but I’ve begun to believe this mantra: “If you don’t love it, don’t do it.”
Now of course this doesn’t apply in every single decision. I don’t LOVE scrubbing the bathtub, but it has to happen or mold will take over. I don’t LOVE going to the dentist, but I should go if I would like to keep my teeth. I don’t LOVE paying my car registration, but I do love not going to prison, so I (get my husband to) take care of that. Some decisions are a given because they’re necessary. But sometimes, we have a choice.