life beyond the well…


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 9: Psalm 90:12

As I mentioned last week, things are busy.  We are busy with our jobs.  Busy with ministry.  Busy with marriage.  Busy with life and all that it entails.  There are so many things that can easily consume my time if I’m not careful.  Preacherman and I have been making a dedicated effort to be a better steward of our time- which is the most precious commodity that we have.  If wasted, we never get it back.  Each day, we desire to get closer to fulfilling the purpose God has for our lives.  With that thought, we have this scripture for the week:

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

While I hope to be a good steward of all of the resources that God has given me, it is a sincere prayer that I master my time and that I use it in a way that gives God the glory.

Be encouraged!  Peace and Blessings!


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Book Review: The People Factor

Relationships are a huge part of life, and something in which I want to be very good.  I desire to have healthy relationships in all of the roles that I assume- as a wife, a steppie, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend, a coworker, etc.  I was excited to review Van Moody’s book “The People Factor” because I’m finding myself in a new phase of life where I actually have to seek relationships, build them, and maintain them.  Since we have moved to Jacksonville, we’ve been trying to figure out ways to not only meet people, but to develop authentic, healthy relationships with them.  And since that was a goal, I hoped this book could offer some good insight.

Let me just say- this book is awesome!  I found myself wanting to read it faster to get through (because it’s so much GOOD, RELEVANT TEACHING), but also wanting to slow down and take many, many notes.  This is also the first book that I’ve read for review that I’ve had the opportunity to recommend to someone in person (at the hair salon, someone had recently heard about the book and wanted to know if it was good).

Here’s the thing- we can ALL be better at relationships.  Moody’s book provides us with not just an understanding of how and why relationships matter, but tangible tips on how to identify which relationships to stay in (or enter in).  Not only that, at the end of each chapter, he provides excellent relationship reminders and great questions to help you raise your relational IQ.

This book provided a great foundation to help in my approach to relationships in this new phase of life.  This is definitely a book that I will be using as a resource, and that I will recommend to others.  Check it out!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 8: James 1:12

Our life is busy and filled with work. Good work, but still work. And sometimes in that work, you face challenging situations that can test your faith and can make it difficult to act on what you believe as opposed to how you feel in the moment.  Preacherman and I both faced situations like that, over the past week…which has led me to this memory verse:

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”- James 1:12 (NIV)

Choosing to persevere in a way that God would desire in a trial is not always the easiest.  However, pleasing God is what is most important, and there’s a reward for my obedience and perseverance.  And I have learned that in those difficult situations, God can use us to be conduits of grace, love, and mercy–in the same way that He so freely gives all three of those to us.

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!

 


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A Higher Definition

In all seriousness, Preacherman is one of the smartest, most gifted people that I’ve ever met. Sometimes we have conversations and I find myself in awe of how his mind works- his ability to make connections and to explain complex things in such a simple way that it’s almost impossible to not understand it.  He does this incredibly well all the time, but it is amazing to watch him do this with the word of God as a preacher and teacher.

In preparation for our next season, Preacherman will preach messages to me- actual messages that he would preach to a church full of people. They are awesome.  And I’m not just saying this as a proud wife.  I’m saying this as a believer who leaves the message having experienced God in a new way, and having learned something that I can apply to my life, making me a better person.

A couple of weeks ago, Preacherman preached this message entitled “A Higher Definition”. It was such a powerful message, based out of 1 John 3:1-3 and 1 Peter 2:9-12.  Here are some of my key takeaways from this message:

  • The world and its systems do not own me.  I belong to God.
  • I am not to be defined by what others say I am: I am CHOSEN, I am HOLY, I am ROYAL, I am a PRIESTHOOD!
  • We are set up to be victorious.
  • Real victory is achieved with real opposition, not just going with the flow of the world.
  • I cannot allow myself to be defined by anything other than Christ.  That’s too low of a definition.
  • Because I am a child of God, I have promise, power, and purpose.
  • If I fail to live a life like Christ, I am allowing others to die in darkness.

This was SUCH a good word, and I hope those snippets above bless you as the message blessed me.  Interested in hearing the message? Let me know and I’ll figure out a way to get it to you!

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 7: 1 John 3:1

We are still struggling to get back into a regular routine (especially with posting these scriptures), but we had a great week of celebrating our love for each other, and the love that God continues to bestow upon us.  As a result, we have chosen to hold on to that this week by memorizing the following verse:

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…” -1 John 3:1 (NIV)

I am so grateful for God’s love that He provides so lavishly, and that He calls us His children.  The blessings that come as a result of His love and being a part of His family are so amazing.  I pray that each of you see and feel the love of God at work in your life this week.

Be encouraged! Peace and Blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 6- Romans 8:1-2

Just like that, another week has passed!  Getting back into a regular schedule after traveling and following up said travel with a super busy weekend and work week, is tough.  Nevertheless, God is faithful and has sustained us.  We are continuing to believe and see fruit from our prayers during the consecration season, and are excited to see God’s plan unfold this year!

But now, our weekly word:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

How awesome it is to experience the freedom that comes from being in Christ! This has already been a great reminder for me as I’ve encountered some challenging situations that have my mind desiring to condemn me (Side note: don’t let your thoughts do that!). I’ve had to remind myself that I am free to enjoy the abundant life that God has promised me.

Here’s to living and walking in freedom!

Be encouraged!  Peace and blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 5: Mark 11:24

Due to travel, this week’s weekly word is a little late, but here’s what Preacherman and I are focused on committing to memory this week:

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”- Mark 11:24 (NIV)

This is timely, as we wrap up the end of Consecration 2014 and still find ourselves deep in prayer for things that we are believing God to do.  We must continue in the belief portion, and exercise our faith as if it’s already done- because it is!  Although it may not be done HOW or WHEN we expect, the fact remains that it is still done, and we must act accordingly.

Be encouraged!  Peace and blessings!


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Friends for the Duration

I was completely surprised to realize that this post from almost six years ago has been one of the most popular posts I’ve written.  I figured it was time to do an update, and I did, explaining my thoughts about friendship and how life causes things to change.

But I also hinted at the fact that there ARE people in your marathon of a life, who will be with you for the duration. How do you know if people are with you for the duration of your marathon? I guess “you just know”.  But if I had to quantify it, reflecting on the people in my life who I know are with me for duration, here’s what I think:

  • They like the “old” you, but they love the “new” you.
  • There’s no conversations that are off limits- good/bad/ugly, you can (AND DO) talk about it all without judgement.
  • They make you better-they don’t let you get too comfortable or complacent.

Looking at this closer, here’s what I mean:

They like the “old” you, but they love the “new” you: One of the best things about my friends who are with me for the duration, is that they have fond memories of me from “way back when”.  But, even with those fond memories, they really LOVE me as I am now.  They have accepted that I have grown and changed, but their friendship and love towards me HAS NOT changed.

No topics are off limits, and it’s judgement free: I appreciate having the freedom in my friendships to be my complete self: good/bad/ugly, and know that I’m not judged for who I am, how I’m feeling, or what I just said.  They know that AT MY CORE, I’m not the person I may sound like I am on the phone or via FaceTime, and they provide a safe space for me to vent my concerns or frustrations without fear of judgement.  Also, it’s a safe space for me to ask any/all questions without fear of judgement.

They make you better: So, while they don’t judge me for what I say or what I ask, they respectfully push back and challenge my thinking and my behavior to help make me the best version of me that I can be. They let me whine, but they don’t let me wallow. I can complain, but I’m challenged to not be complacent. And often times, they provide direct feedback on HOW to be better.  Not just saying “you need to do better” (I mean, that DOES happen), but “have you tried this?” Or connecting me with actual resources to be better and to make better decisions.

I realize that I have been incredibly blessed to have a strong circle of people who are running the marathon with me, and it’s not something that I take for granted. I pray that you have the same “circle of love” in your life.

But how about you? I’d love to hear how you determine who’s with you for the duration.

Be encouraged!  Peace and Blessings!


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Weekly Word 2014 Week 4: 1 Corinthians 4:20

Here’s what Preacherman and I are committing to memory this week:

“For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NKJV)

This is such a great reminder of that living for God and being a part of the kingdom of God is not just about words, but also in letting the power of God rest in you and guide you accordingly.

Be encouraged! Peace and Blessings!


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Updated Thoughts: Outgrowing Friends

Nearly six years ago, I wrote this post entitled “What Happens When You Outgrow Your Friends?” and it’s hard to believe that it’s been one of the most popular posts on this blog.

It is indeed possible for you to “outgrow” your friends, purely because life happens.  And as life happens, things change. We change. We adapt and we evolve. And as that process happens, you may find yourself in a different place than some of your friends.  While “life happens”, it doesn’t happen to everyone at the same rate/same pace/same time.  It’s like puberty- some people are “early bloomers”, some blossom late.  Those changes impact your values, as well as where and how you focus your time and energy- and your friendship can be one of the casualties of such change.

But here’s another truth: when you remove the commonalities that you share with your friends that merge your life together (school, church, work), it really requires effort to maintain a friendship.  So, in some cases, you haven’t “outgrown” a friendship, it’s just that with the change of circumstances, neither person is willing to put forth the effort required to maintain a friendship. Is that bad? I think it depends on how you define “bad”.

However, I do believe that everyone isn’t meant to go with you all the way.  Life is a marathon.  As you run your marathon, you’ll find that your running group and your crowd changes across the miles.  There are some who are with you for the duration.  There are some who are there to get you through some of the difficult miles.  There are some who help you get off to a good start, and there are some who help ensure that you finish well.  There’s value in each of those roles, and you should appreciate people for them.  But when it’s time for roles to change, be accepting of that as well.  And that, I believe is truly more difficult to do.  However, you can do yourself more harm by staying in relationships that need to end, as opposed to dealing with the emotion and moving on accordingly.

The best way that I’ve found to handle these situations, is to trust that God has provided me with all that I need for the season that I’m in–and that includes the friends that I have.  When friendships change, I praise God for the opportunity to have had that relationship, and then I continue in prayer for them and for my ability to move forward.  Each time, God has been faithful, and equipped me to be able to move forward with grace.

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!

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