Hey friends! I am so excited about my new blog series starting October 1!! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more details!
Sometimes life can be just plain hard. Sometimes answers do not come. Sometimes we wonder if they ever will. In these moments fear can take the place of peace in our hearts, and fear can rule in place of Jesus Christ. The older I get and the more life I live, I am reminded all the more that peace does not come from the material things we possess, relationships we have, health, or financial security, etc.
No, true peace only comes from Jesus.
Over the last year I feel that my life has been stripped away, and much like the changing of seasons, the Lord has been changing my life and maturing me into a stronger woman for Him. It seems like everything that I have put confidence in has been removed by God, but it has also drawn me closer to Him and shown me what is really important.
A life lived for God is not meant to be a life lived in ease. A life lived for God is meant to be a life surrendered to the Father saying not my will but yours be done.
That also includes accepting and rejoicing in suffering. In the midst of trials and uncertainty, fear can tend to take over. However, God commands us throughout His word, “Do not fear,” and “do not be afraid” (Joshua 1:9). We may not know what is ahead but He does. So in whatever you may be going through today, “cast your cares on Him for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Surrender your life to Him — your struggles, your joys, everything. He is strong enough to handle them, so let Him. We may not understand all of God’s plans on this side of Eternity but one day we will. As one of my favorite songs from Amy Grant says,
“Somewhere down the road,
There’ll be answers to the questions.
Somewhere down the road,
Though we cannot see it now.
Somewhere down the road,
You will find mighty arms reaching for you.
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road.”
To listen to the entire song visit here.
Today is the day, folks! Football officially starts for my favorite team, the Gamecocks! Tonight at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, the South Carolina Gamecocks play against the North Carolina Tarheels. Yes, I know what many of you are thinking, why is the North Carolina girl rooting for a South Carolina team? Well, I went to college in South Carolina and while I was there gave my heart to USC, so there you have it! Go Gamecocks!
Also, on Saturday I will enjoy watching some of the other college teams play. Fun football times ahead and I love it. Who will you be rooting for this weekend?
Hi sweet friends. Thank you for all the prayers and encouraging words regarding my procedure yesterday. All went well, and no complications other than an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, but that was not major. I will not know if the botox is working for about two weeks. Then at the beginning of October I will visit with my urologist again and he will do in-depth tests on my bladder to see if it has made progress with the botox, and after that we will know how we should proceed. Please pray that the botox works and that it will help bring healing and relief to my bladder. Thanks again for all the prayers. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.
For most, Tuesday is just another day of the week. Boring. Uneventful. But it is yet another day to be grateful. This morning I go into the hospital for a very small procedure which is not very fun. However, in the midst of the mundane and hard there is joy to be found, and things continually to be grateful for.
This past weekend my family and I spent the day on Lake Norman. We went on a lunch cruise around the lake and then met up with some friends who have a place there and spent the afternoon with them. It was such a wonderful family day and brought much joy to my heart. Also, being out and about again gave me glimmers of hope that my body is indeed continuing to heal. I praise the Lord for that. Sometimes its the simplest things that bring the most joy. I am so thankful for the family God has blessed me with and the time God has allowed us to spend together, and that they walk with me through the good and the bad. On this Tuesday, what are the joys of your day? Trust me, they are there, so take time to look for the joys God has given you today and be thankful.
2015 has been quite the journey for me thus far. I turned 30 this year and I joked with someone the other day that I want a 30 do-over and that I hope 31 is kinder to my health. Although, since my last surgery in February, I have made some wonderful progress, and over the last couple of weeks I have started getting out and doing more activities. I even made it to church and that was a huge blessing because I have not been physically able to go in so long. I realize these things are not major for most people, but for me they are. That being said, I have definitely been feeling hopeful about the days to come. However, since this last surgery, I have been having problems with my bladder. I have had bladder issues for years and have had multiple surgeries for it. Over the last few years things have been under control — until now. To make a really long story short, I have bladder problems from Cerebral Palsy, and had bladder surgery when I was in 7th grade where the surgeon completely rebuilt my bladder. But in recent tests we have found that my bladder has majorly shrunk in size which is the reason for the issues I am having. Unfortunately, we believe my colon surgery as well as treatments and extended time in the hospital are probably the causes of this. At this point the treatment for my situation consists of two things: Botox in my bladder and eventually another major bladder surgery where my bladder will be removed. Depending on how the Botox works this surgery could occur one or three years from now. As you can imagine, this was not the news I was hoping to hear and in the moment I asked God, “What are you doing? I don’t even begin to understand this. Can my body undergo yet another major surgery and be okay? What about my hopes, dreams, and when can I get back to life as normal? ”
But after much prayer, God reminded me not to worry about tomorrow and focus only on things of today as He commands in Matthew 6:34. He has given me so much to be thankful for. He is continually restoring and giving me life. Yes, I may have major bladder surgery in my future, and it may come sooner than I would like, but if and when that occurs God will be with me like He always has. I am not being obedient to God and His Word by worrying about the what-ifs and creating scenarios of what might happen in my mind. That is me giving into my fears instead of turning them over to Christ. Why is it that we make things harder on ourselves than they have to be instead of letting the peace of Christ rule in our hearts? I want to encourage you today that no matter what your worries, fears, or circumstances are Christ is strong enough to take care of them all. Give them over to Him, and let His strength carry you.
I believe greatly in the power of prayer and I know prayer is one of the main reasons I am here today. Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) I have to go into the hospital for a small procedure to have botox put in my bladder. Please pray that all goes well with that, and most importantly pray that the botox works. If it works well then it could be 2-3 years before the major surgery so please pray this brings some much needed relief. Also, pray for healing of my bladder to where surgery could not be needed down the road. I would love to pray for you as well so please let me know how I can be lifting you up. Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement. I hope your Monday is going well.
Photo taken by my friend Sara Rettig.
Happy Friday, friends. Yesterday, I posted about gratitude, and last night I was reminded yet again about how much I have to be thankful for. I have been home bound for the last year or so due to health problems and about six months ago, I honestly did not think I would live to see another day. But here I am, and I am so thankful. Around a month ago, I remembered that one of my favorite artists, Laura Story, was going to be performing at The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. I knew that if I could physically make it I wanted to be there. However, when I called to order tickets I was told they were sold out but would be put on a waiting list. I was bummed, but did not think much more about it until Monday when I got a call saying they had two tickets available if I wanted them. I purchased them, and prayed all week that my body would cooperate so I would feel like going. God was gracious and gave me the strength to go, and I am so glad He did. It was a night focused on worshipping the Savior and was a great reminder to my soul of God’s faithfulness. God is restoring my life and even in the hard continues to prove Himself faithful to me every single day. His power is unfathomable and His mercy is unending. He loves and listens to even the smallest desires of my heart, and knows my love language better than any person ever could. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the big picture that we lose sight of the little gifts God gives us.So as I head into this weekend my mind is focused on the goodness and majesty of the God I serve, and am grateful for the progress He has made in my journey. Jesus truly has done the miraculous in my life so instead of getting worried and stressed about the future of my health and life, I am going to focus on the good of today. His power is truly sufficient in my weakness, and is also sufficient for whatever you may be going through as well. Take some time to seek His face and don’t miss out on thanking him for the little blessings He has brought your way. He is and will always prove to be faithful.
Pictured above is the beautiful view from the cove, and me with my dear friend Natalie. So thankful for her friendship and the encouragement she brings to my life.
Two weeks ago, Pastor Pete Wilson of Crosspoint Church in Nashville preached a wonderful message on gratitude and at the end of it challenged each of us to share five things that we were grateful for every day for five days. This was known on social media as#5for5CP. Below are some things that I shared each day. If you are alive, you have something to be grateful for. Spend some time today thanking God for the gifts he has blessed you with.
#5for5CP – Day 1
1. I am super thankful for the friendship and sisterhood I share with @sara_at_mimibellas. Thankful for the continued encouragement she gives to me each day and the truth she speaks in my life. #bestfriends #kindredspirits
2. Encouragement from the word – Psalm 119
3. Good books – My current read is “What Keeps You Up at Night” by Pete Wilson.
4. Diet Coke with Lime – #itsthelittlethings
5. Good music – I have the album “Little Songs” by Jon Guerra on repeat! So good!
#5for5CP – Day 2
I’m so grateful for all of my furbabies! 🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶
1. Lucy Lou
4. Anne Girl
5. Rowdy Girl
#5for5CP – Day 3
1. Days like today spent by the pool
3. My recovery. 2015 has been a hard year so far for my health but God is restoring me and bringing healing in His time.
4. My current view. Such a beautiful day!
5. Sunshine 🔆🔆🔆
#5for5CP Day 4 –
1. The dear friendship I share with @caseyrummy! So thankful God allowed us to be friends. I love your weekly visits with Malakai. They encourage me every time and also keep me sane haha! Love you! 💜
2.Malakai – love this little guy so much! He brings me constant joy!#ThursdaysWithMalalkai
3.Strawberry Lemonade from McDonalds – my weekly treat from @caseyrummy! Delicious!
4.Dinner brought to me by my dad from my favorite local restaurant, Jans! Love their chicken and their salads! So good.
5. Encouragement from the Word today! Philippians 3:13-14
#5for5CP Day 5 –
1. I’m forever grateful for the wonderful and Godly parents that I have been blessed with. So thankful to have them as my best friends. Thanks for never leaving my side this year, and for taking such good care of me while I’ve been sick. Also, most importantly thanks for being examples of Jesus in my life. Love you! 😘
2. Family – Love you all! 💜
3. Life – 2014 and 2015 have been extremely tough due to some health issues and I am so thankful for the gift of of being alive. Thankful to Jesus for the joy of today.
4. Hebrews 6:19 ⚓
5. Prayers and encouragement from friends – Thanks to all of you who have prayed, encouraged, and supported our family during this season. We are thankful for and love you all.
Hey friends. I know it is a little late to establish a reading list for the summer since the summer is over halfway complete, but up until this point in my recovery I have not felt like reading. If you know me at all, then you know that I absolutely love books. That being said, I have created a Summer/Fall list of books that I would like to read. Below is the list. It is a lot of books but maybe by Christmas I will have them read. Maybe. Ha. It is a good goal, anyways! What are you currently reading? If you have any recommendations to add please share them in the comments section. 🙂
4. The Set Apart Woman by Leslie Ludy – I love everything written by Leslie, and her husband Eric, and I am sure this will be no exception. Leslie’s books are always super encouraging and convicting and I always walk away from her writings with a deeper desire to dig in God’s Word.
5. Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae – I’ve recently discovered Sarah Mae’s writing and just received this book yesterday. The cover of this book alone makes me want to start reading, although I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover..ha! I have read the first few pages and it is fabulous so far. Sarah Mae speaks directly to the heart of women and has such a beautiful way of communicating. I recommend this for all women, especially my mom friends out there.
6. Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers – I have almost read all of Francine’s books except for this one. All of her work has been so amazing and I don’t think this book will disappoint. If you haven’t done so already, read “Redeeming Love” and ” The Atonement Child.”
7. The Mingling of Souls by Matt and Lauren Chandler – Matt is one of my favorite pastors and writers and I look forward to reading more of his and Lauren’s wisdom regarding marriage and relationships.
8. One More Wish – Christy & Todd: The Married Years by Robin Jones Gunn – The Christy Miller Series will always be my most favorite. I grew up with these books and have loved this new series based on my favorite characters. I’ve pre-ordered this upcoming book look forward to receiving it and catching up with my “Forever Friends.”
7. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon – I am from a family of readers, and I think that all the ladies in my family have read this entire series, but me. I know, I know. I am a bit behind, but I plan to remedy that real soon.
8. The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun – I have heard Brother Yun’s powerful story many times but I have never read the book. I am looking forward to reading this intense book on the power of Jesus Christ in one man’s life.
9. Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle – I have been a longtime reader of Melanie’s blog, “Big Mama,” and I love the humorous ways she tells a story. I’ve already started this book and it does not disappoint. This is a book you should read with your best girlfriend so go pick up a copy for you and your BFF and start reading.
10. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline – A few months ago I asked my dear friend Sara what was one book I needed to read and she immediately said “Orphan Train.” Sara, is a book lover like myself and has a great blog reviewing some of her favorite books. Check it out here.
11. Devil At My Heels by Louis Zamperini- I greatly respect this man and his bravery and I look forward to reading more of his story.
14. What are Your Afraid Of? Facing Down Your Fears With Faith by Dr. David Jeremiah – The other day I was on my Kindle and meant to download the sample for this book, but accidentally purchased and downloaded the full book. I guess God wanted me to read it. 🙂
15. You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis and Lisa Chan – I love the Chans and their deep devotion for the ministry of Jesus Christ. I know that this book is full of helpful advice for married as well as single people, and will bring you closer to Jesus. Also, 100% of the net proceeds from this book will support various ministries including those that help provide shelter and rehabilitation for thousands of children and exploited women around the world. 🙂
I am 30 years old and have been praying for my future husband since I was 12. That is 18 years of praying for a man I have never met (or at least I don’t think we’ve met). Lately, I have wondered if I am called to a life of singleness, but the Lord commands us not to worry about the future, just focus on today. Leslie Ludy frequently tells the story of her sister-in-law Krissy who was single for many years before God sent her the man she is now married to. Before marriage when people would ask Krissy, “are you called to a life of singleness?” Her response was always, “Today I am.” I love that perspective, and it is now my response as well. Since I am single today then I am called by God to be single in this season unless He decides to send me a husband. One fact that I have learned over the years is that Jesus Christ is always enough and is my ultimate fulfillment. Sure, there are days that are really hard as a single person, and the struggle is very real, but that is when Jesus meets me in my need and gives me grace upon grace. Because of His grace, I have the strength I need to most importantly live for Jesus, and to honor my future husband (If God wills that I should be married one day).
Proverbs 31:12 states that a wife of noble character is to bring her husband “good not harm all the days of her life.” This verse does not only apply to women who have already met their spouses, but to single women as well. We should be living all of our life in a way that ultimately glorifies the Lord, and also in a way that would be faithful to a future husband. One way to live this out is by praying for your future husband even before you meet him. Even if one never marries, your prayers will not ever be wasted.
Several years ago I was reminded of the power of prayer in this area after hearing a friend’s testimony. She shared that one night she woke up at 3am and felt the Lord telling her to pray for her future husband. She spent the remainder of the night in prayer because she knew he was in trouble. She continued to pray for him daily after that. A year later, when she was getting to know the man who is now her husband, he told her that he was involved in a car accident that almost took his life. As he told her the details of how it happened, it was exactly the date and time that the Lord woke her up to pray. When I heard this story I was reminded that God values and honors our prayers for a husband even when we cannot see what He is doing.
One of my favorite books on this topic is titled “Praying For Your Future Husband,” by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer. In this, the authors share Biblical encouragement and wisdom on how to pray for your husband and prepare your heart for his. It also gives ways to pray for your sisters in Christ. I would like to share some of these, and I encourage you to spend some time this week in prayer for your future husband as well as your fellow sisters as we are trying to be the women God has called us to be.
- Pray for his Heart – Pray that your future husband will give his heart to Jesus Christ. Pray that he will trust the Lord each day to get him through whatever life may bring, and for his thoughts and actions to reflect the love of Christ. Pray these things also for yourself and your friends.
- Pray for Strength – Pray that your future husband will have inner-spiritual strength and that the Lord will give him strength to fight temptations and difficulties. Pray that the Lord will mold him into the leader he needs to be. Also, pray the same things for yourself and your friends. Pray that God will give you strength in areas where you are weakest and allow His strength to make you strong.
- Pray for Loyalty and Faithfulness – Pray that your future husband will be faithful to the Lord in every area of his life. Pray also that he is loyal to the friendships that God has already given him, and pray that he is already faithful to you. Pray these things for yourself and your friends.
- Pray for Protection – Pray that your future husband will be protected from the evil one. Pray that he puts on the armor of God each day and for the Lord to help him fight not only the outward sources that try to bring him down but also the sin nature inside. Also, pray the same protection each day for yourself and your friends.
- Pray for Contentment – Pray that your future husband will be content, and have patience as he waits for God to lead him to you. Pray that his heart will not be hardened during this time, but instead that he grow closer in his relationship with Christ. Pray that he spends his time focusing on serving Christ and others, and not dwelling on being single. Pray that Christ alone will always be enough. Pray for the same contentment for yourself and your friends.
To learn more and to purchase “Praying for Your Future Husband,” visit here.
Be encouraged today, and know that I am praying for you!