This Is The Way, Walk In It

Happy Monday, my friends! I have someone special I would like to introduce you to. Her name is Joelle & I have known her for about 4 years! Throughout these years, she’s become a great friend, and I admire her greatly. She loves the Lord with her whole heart & has a passion for ministry. She writes a blog, called Joyfully Yours Blog & if you click on it, you will be redirected to it. Please check it out, she has so much wisdom to share. Enjoy!

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How do I hear God’s voice? Why would God speak to me? How does God speak to me? For a long time I thought that God only spoke to more “spiritual” people who had a special gift that allowed them to hear God. In the past few months, though, I have come to the conclusion that that is so false. My Heavenly Father desires relationship. And He is so close to me. He wants to speak to me!

Isaiah 30:21 says “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying ‘this is the way, walk in it.’” The Lord is so near. God’s Word was the catalyst of creation. It was there when Adam & Eve sinned. It told Noah to build an ark. The voice of God allowed Moses to move, to initiate the liberation of His people. It was there when that same chosen people refused to follow Him. God’s Word was with David through his deepest turmoil and fear. It told Jonah to go to Nineveh to reach those whom no one wanted to reach. God spoke to the prophets as they warned His people of His wrath and gave the hope of a Savior. The Word became flesh when Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem. And the Word is in us as we listen to the Holy Spirit inside of us –guiding, teaching and speaking.

God’s Word is constant and eternal. It allows us to move forward with confidence in a world full of confusion and insecurity. In Deuteronomy 30:20, it says: “… listen to his voice and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life…” God’s word brings life. Not condemnation, not fear, not hate, not shame. Life. Everything He says is perfect. If He speaks of such personal things, and if He cares so much, don’t you think He’d want to speak to you personally? Wouldn’t He want to sit next to you and talk to you about your career, your passions, your future spouse? Wouldn’t He want to help you through your deepest hurts? I truly believe He does.

Revelation 3:20 says that when God knocks on the door of our life and we let Him in, He will come in and eat with us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to tell you things, have long conversations about life, love and everything in between. Whether that be over a cup of coffee or in a dark room at 2AM when you can’t seem to fall asleep.

I believe the greatest way He speaks to us is through His word. He speaks clearly and boldly throughout the Scriptures. Deuteronomy 30:14 say that “the word of the Lord is very near you, it is in your mouth and in your hearts, so you may obey it.” God’s plans were perfectly laid out in the Bible – plans about His people, plans of grace, deliverance, and peace. There are even prophecies about Jesus in the book of Genesis! Isn’t that amazing? The Word was speaking then, why wouldn’t it be speaking now? The Holy Spirit speaks into circumstances that bring joy and those that bring pain. In all circumstances, He speaks life.  Everything He says is purposeful. In Isaiah 55:10-11 (y’all should check out the whole chapter; it’s pretty great!) it says

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens

and stay on the ground to water the earth.

They cause the grain to grow,

producing seed for the farmer

and bread for the hungry.

It is the same with my word.

I send it out, and it always produces fruit.

It will accomplish all I want it to,

and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” -from Isaiah 55:10-11

 

Whenever the Lord speaks, it is for a reason. His plans are accomplished, hearts are restored, and love is on display. Learning to discern His voice from all others is so important. I’ve learned that, anything that leads me to discouragement or anger or shame, anything that doesn’t help me grow is not from God. When God speaks, He does so to point me to Him, to change my perspective, to remind me that I can’t do anything without Him. His words bring peace rather than confusion, healing rather than pain, and rest rather than turmoil. It’s okay to question, to research, to ask about what you are hearing (in fact, I encourage you to!). In the end, though, you’ll definitely see that God is always right and His Word is always good.

So, this is my challenge to you:

Seek Him. Read His Word. Pray. Listen. Find out how the Lord speaks to you. He is speaking to you in more ways than you think!

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Coffee Chat: The Many Facets of Love

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Get your Monday cups of coffee ready & sit down with a blanket, because no Monday is complete without it! This morning, I opened up my Flourish devotional, and today’s topic was about love. Margaret asked, “What does love look like?”, and she came up with the following answer:

“Love moves. Love rejoices. Love protects. Love trusts. Love forgives. Love hopes. Love perseveres. Love leads. Love keeps. Love abounds.”

I read about how love is like a liquid; always splattering everywhere, splashing, and spilling over. I asked myself, “Do I love like that?”

I know God’s love looks like that.

His love looks like paint thrown on a canvas. Carefree. Always giving, giving, giving. Never tiring. His love looks like a diamond- it looks different when shown in different lights. Always helping us grow. He goes with us.

And this love fills us with love that we’re inspired to give to others. We overflow with it, and then He gives us a refill. We never run dry! I wonder if He could do the same with our coffee cups if we asked…ask & you shall receive, right? (I’m kidding! I wish it worked that way though.)

As I read on, I discovered that love challenges us to engage, embrace, and serve each other, even in the tiniest ways! Here’s a story of the time someone blessed me with small gestures of love (warning- tmi alert):

It was shark week (scandalous), and I was in the most unimaginable pain I’ve ever felt. As I lay on the couch almost in tears, the person I was with that day offered to go out in the pouring rain to buy a hot water bottle because they didn’t have one in their home. So they fed me my medication, covered me with a blanket, turned the TV on, and ran out the door. When they came back shortly after, they made me soup, and filled that hot water bottle to the top. I’ve never felt so loved.

It made me want to love that person in a better way.

I am definitely not perfect when it comes to loving people. I get impatient with people when they don’t understand me, I get upset over tiny inconveniences, and I can be unkind on my worst days. But I definitely do try. And when I hear of God’s crazy love for me, it makes me want to be a better servant. I want to love someone so much that they would describe it as “splattered paint on a canvas”.

How can you love someone today?

 

Rejection (Great Title, Robin)

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Happy New Year, my friends! It has been a pretty relaxing holiday for my family & I, despite the touristy things & endless shopping trips we did in Florida. We went to the beach, met some online friends in Disney Springs, went to Universal Studios, and celebrated my birthday (21, wassup!!). For my birthday, we went to IHOP for dinner (those strawberry banana pancakes were something amazing), had some red velvet cupcakes for dessert, went minigolfing, and went to the bookstore! I added to my library quite a bit. Here are a few purchases I made: Daily Gratitudes by Amelia Riedler,  a beautiful journal, Pride & Predjudice (thanks mom & Vic), a new bible, Flourish by Maragaret Feinburg, and Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst.

Uninvited is a book that seems to focus on the topic of rejection, such a hard subject to talk about. I don’t think of myself as someone who is prone to rejection, but maybe that’s because I don’t put myself in a position where I could be rejected.

I began reading this book last night, with my new journal next to me- oh, how I went into this endeavor completely unaware of how this book would affect me from the get go. The second sentence had me writing. This is  what it said:

“Honesty wants me to speak to the least tidy version of the woman I’ve become.”

I can make try to make myself as beautiful as I can from the outside, starting from the clothes I choose to wear in the morning, to the make up I put on my face. But who am I before all of that?

Who am I really, once I expose myself to the light of day first thing in the morning, & face myself in the mirror?

From the outside, we are who we want to present to the world. With my pretty, made up face & tidy clothes, I am seen as put together, at least to those who don’t know me. To those who DO know me, and once I’m by myself, I can see that I’m messed up in all sorts of ways. I have deep cuts on my heart from bad memories that have shaped me into who I am now: afraid of love, always anxious, and tired of living, especially on my worst days.

I’m afraid that everyone will see this part of me & leave me rejected and alone. Is this what God thinks of me? Does He think of me as unworthy of the breath in my lungs? Is He afraid to love me because I’m sometimes afraid to love Him & give in to the lies of the devil instead of His peaceful Word? 

No, never

“26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” -Ezekiel 36:26

Even though I see the worst of myself & fear rejection more than anyone will ever know, He has made me new. He has made you new. We don’t have to fear anymore.

“18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” -1 John 4:18

I might continue sharing about what I’ve been learning from this book, as I read. But I just felt like sharing this with you. Have a great week!