A Living Sacrifice

Bible Study: Journey Week Two

The very first step to discovering the good, acceptable and perfect will of God? Becoming a living sacrifice. But there’s just one itty bitty problem with a living sacrifice… it keeps crawling off the alter!

Ever make a decision that your going to start a new habit or quit an old one. You make a genuine confession to God that you will do (blank) when in this certain situation again, but when faced with the same thing, you immediately resort to old ways of behavior? I get it. That’s because we can truly mean what we say, we can forgive wholeheartedly, we can truly declare to God that we will change… and then fall flat on our face. Our decisions to follow our emotions, but our emotions will follow our decisions.

When we make a decision to hand our lives over to God, we have to daily make that same decision not because we didn’t truly mean it the first time, but we all have flash (old habits, thinking, emotions) that don’t really want to comply with our new ways. It keeps trying to crawl off the alter we’re laying ourselves on and if we’re passive in this, we will find ourselves always falling short of what we are truly trying to do.

It’s the same with our dreams. We want to hand them over to God, but daily our flesh will be distracted to have things go our own way. We have to stay active in our resolve to put God on the throne of our hearts and keep Him there.

Join me for week 2 of the Journey Bible Study and let’s see how becoming a living sacrifice actually works in our daily lives.

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The Original Storyline

Bible Study: Journey Week One

What if I told you that your dreams are important to God? More than that, what if I said that your dreams were designed by God and His heart is to help you achieve each and every one?

Most of us have one of two views when it comes to our dreams: either we think they are them most important thing in this world and it doesn’t matter who we have to use, abuse or run over to make them happen, or we think they are childish behavior that God wants us to grow out of.

I don’t see either of these views in the bible, but what I do see is a Creator who instills specific dreams, talents and desires inside each and every heart, and how He wants most of all to take this journey with us to discovering what they are, what they mean and how He wants to play them out in our lives.

Because this world will tell you to just go for it, no matter who you hurt, no matter what it takes, and no matter what damage you do to yourself along the way. But can I tell you something? This world really doesn’t care about you or your dreams. They just want you to take their class on “How to Achieve Your Dreams in 5 Easy Steps.” They could care less about the person you become or how much long-term success you actually have.

God has bigger plans for you, plans that would astound you. But before you can dive into what those plans actually are, we need to uncover the original storyline of our Creator, the real story of why you’re here and what God’s ideas of your dreams really are like.

Let’s unpack what this story actually brings out and start on the journey to dream chasing with God.

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Moving Past Fear + Anxiety

Moving Past Fear + Anxiety | Christian Girl Resource | Christian Blog | Overcoming Fear | New Wife Blog

Happy Wednesday!

We’re already half way through the week but I know it’s at this point that it can feel as though the weekend will never come. But it will be here before you know it and that’s why it’s so important that we learn to fully live each day as it’s presented to us. Otherwise we’ll look back on this year and wonder what we did with all that time.

One thing I know that can get in the way of us living our lives, and days, to there fullest is fear and anxiety. As women, we all deal with these two pesky trolls to varying degrees, but we’re usually no strangers to either. They implant themselves in our lives and cause commotion without any regard for our emotional and mental health.

But I don’t want to just talk about how real these things are, and our shared hatred for the trail of frustration they leave in their path. But I want to talk about actually moving forward from fear and anxiety. Because if the enemy can keep you stuck and frozen in your tracks, then he can keep you from experiencing the life that God has called you to: one of peace, joy and purpose.

One thing that I think is worth mentioning is how fear and anxiety both usually stem from either outside circumstances or thought patters about things that haven’t even happened yet. AKA, stressed out about life or worried about the future… two things that we have absolutely NO control over.

Because that’s when things get overwhelming… stressing out about things you can’t change. It never ends!

Understanding what is and is not in your control is vital to moving forward from fear and anxiety. While you can’t always change what life throws at you, or when negative and fearful thoughts start to sweep into your mind, you can decide what you’ll do from that moment on…

A couple weeks ago, our cat Mocha started acting weird. It freaked me out because I couldn’t ask him what was wrong and he was in so much pain it made my heart ache. It turns out he head a UTI, which is pretty common among cats. While he was sick, I sat in the basement with him, angry that the enemy would come against something we loved so much. Even though we were doing everything we could to get him better, the worst part of it all was the sense of fear that kept trying to come over me. It was paralyzing.

I knew I couldn’t let fear get anchored in my heart. I had spent so much of my life living in fear without even realizing it, that I knew I had to take a strong stance against it, or it would become a stronghold once again.

I remembered a song I had heard at a Hillsong concert we were recently at and I pulled it up on Spotify and played it for me an Mocha. Here are some of the words I heard…

Your love stood down death
Crushed the devil’s head
Fear is just a liar
Running out of breath
The fight beneath your feet
I’m standing on Jesus’ Name
So let the devil know not today
— Not Today, Hillsong UNITED

Listening to these words put so much into perspective for me. I got excited as I realized that fear has no control over me. As the song says, it’s just a liar running out of breath. It has no patience or perseverance. All it has are tricks of the mind, lies and confusion. Everything I have in Jesus is stronger, sturdier and far more superior.

I started singing this song on repeat and not only did Mocha get better, but I felt fear and anxiety leave my heart to more I said these words out loud. Sometimes, I think your own heart needs to hear your voice declare the truth. After all, you’re probably the most influential person to your own belief system.

You and I were not created to be dominated by fear, anxiety or any other ploy of the enemy that steals our joy, peace and power. It is possible to drive them away, but only if we learn to stand on truth before we feel it, and declare what Jesus did as greater than our feelings.

Listen to the song below and play it as an anthem over you, your family, and your home, whatever is in your domain. And whenever you feel that familiar sense of fear or anxiety start to creep up into your soul, turn this baby on and start speaking truth into your life.

You’ve got this girl. Don’t let fear keep you from the life you truly want to live. It’s not out of reach; it just takes a little intentionality and perhaps a good song or two.

Let’s take control of our thoughts together and start making the enemy regret he ever tried to mess with us.

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Walking with Vision

Bible Study: Fight Well Week Six

I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].
— Philippians 1:6

The stories of our lives don’t wait to be written when we feel ready for the task…

Every moment of our lives, the chapters, story arches, victories and failures are being interwoven into the story that makes up your time on this earth, and the beginning of your eternal story. When we don’t think about it like this, we tend not to think about where our lives are going.

You were created to have vision, to walk with purpose and destiny in your bones, dissatisfied with anything less than everything God has for you. This is a big reason why the enemy is threatened by you. The attacks on your life have more to do with who you might be in the future, than who you have been in the past.

It’s as if when the enemy looks at you, he sees the end of the story. He sees your purpose fulfilled, your destiny discovered and it terrifies him! It reminds him of his eternal damnation and your eternal reigning. Too often we judge ourselves based on how we’ve acted, the mistakes we’ve made or the way our lives currently look, and it really doesn’t seem all that intimidating. We make the huge error of assuming this is the way it will always be (a HUGE lie of the enemy) making us passive in our pursuit for more.

We must have vision for our lives. How will you fight well if you don’t know what you’re fighting for? I believe that finding your vision is only the beginning of the journey you will go on to walk out your purpose and discover your unique destiny on this earth. Remember, the enemy doesn’t attack what he is not threatened by, and there is something about you, the real you, and your future that keeps him coming back at you with more.

So throw your shoulders back girl… God’s got a story planned that will astound you and the rest of the world. Let Him do what He does best and stand firm in your vision.

And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
— C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

Always remember to fight your battles well :)

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Our First Dance + Thoughts on Marriage

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Cause it’s you and me and all of the people and I don’t know why, but I can’t take my eyes off of you.
— You and Me by Lifehouse

Four years ago I made one of the hardest, scariest and best decisions of my life. I said yes to date Jeff.

Now I know what you’re thinking… shouldn’t saying yes to marrying him be a bigger deal? Well, no because I knew deep down that if we dated, we would get married. That’s why it was so hard for me to decide. He was my best friend and I knew this decision would end in one of two ways, marriage, or by forever losing the one guy I cared about most.

I knew I had to take a chance and risk getting rejected by the only guy who knew me well enough to reject the real me. I said yes and it’s been the best decision of my life. Sure it hasn’t always been easy and there are plenty of days when I don’t feel like the stunning bride in this video. But the journey ahead is still so full of possibility and more and more I become so grateful that God brought us together to blaze the trail ahead.

Because it’s not just about who makes you “feel” great, or lovely, or wanted. It’s about who’s going to be there when it get’s tough, who will choose to love you even when you’re not acting lovely, and who will pursue his own relationship with God while you pursue yours. It’s an adventure and who you team up with is about more than mere emotions, for all emotions fade. It’s about who do you want by your side in times of peace, and who do you want to have your back in times of war.

This life is a battle and marriage is the ultimate strength to face it in victory. Choose wisely and if you’re already teamed up, remember that the enemy hates your marriage and he doesn’t attack anything that he isn’t threatened by. The attacks on your life have far more to do with who you might be in the future, than who you have been in the past. And there is something on your life and marriage that terrifies the enemy.

Put your armor on girl. This world needs you unified.

P.S. We practiced our first dance in the living room of my tiny apartment two nights before the wedding. I was so nervous and at one point, Jeff stepped on my foot. Can you spot my reaction?

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