Tuesday, August 25, 2020

What Brings You Delight?

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." 
Psalm 37:4

Merriam-Webster dictionary describes delight as, 
a high degree of gratification or pleasure

Sometimes we believe the lie that spending time with the Lord is a burdensome task. 
We think of it as hard. 
We think we don't have enough time. 
Oh! But when we actually set aside time in the morning, or afternoon, or evening, 
to sit at the feet of Jesus, it is delightful!

So why do we neglect this precious opportunity we have to be
filled, renewed, and strengthened?

Who doesn't want to be reminded of the unconditional 
Love of their Father and to bask in that love, 
soaking up every ray?

Which one of us doesn't long for guidance and direction 
in all areas of our life?

How could we pass up an invitation to release our 
worries and anxieties to Someone who 
offers to take them from us?

But...if we are honest, most of us have not cultivated this
most important area of our life. We have not intentionally
set aside time every day to read, meditate, 
and memorize God's Word and to spend time in prayer.
Even though I have experienced this to be such a sweet time, 
so many times I allow something to come and steal this 
time away.   

I implore you to make this a habit of most importance! 
It will change your life! 
God's Word is alive and powerful, sharper than a 
double-edged sword, piercing to the heart and soul, 
discerning the thoughts in intent of the heart.
His Word really will speak to you, where you are,
as you persistently sit before Him with a hungry
and humble heart. 
He has fed me, O has He fed me! And I have tasted and
seen that the Lord is good! 
This is the one challenge I have done the best at, 
and God has rebuked, corrected, challenged, 
and freed me in so many ways. 
And I know He will continue to! 

Psalm 119 is a beautiful passage that shows how David loved to
meditate on the Word and that he knew from experience
that God's ways were always the way of life, joy, and peace. 

"I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. I delight in Your statutes; I will not forget your Word."

"I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your Word"

"Help me to stay on the path of Your commands, 
for I take pleasure in it." 

"I will walk freely in an open place because I love Your precepts."

"Lord, the earth is filled with Your faithful love; teach me Your statutes."

"Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding so that I may learn Your commands." 

"Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path."

"Since I love Your commands more than gold, even the purest gold, I carefully follow all Your precepts and hate every false way."

Jump in with both feet! Today! See how good it is to sit with
the One who loves you most and knows you fully!

If you need a little guide to start studying, I have been using the 
book The Good Portion by Heidi Baird. 
Make sure you write out your thoughts and/or prayers too. 
It helps to put things on paper.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; 
may His face shine on you and give you His peace.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Tiffany's Mini Devotion

I feel like in today's world women 
are becoming more and more self seeking. 

Don't be so loud the you can't hear when 
someone needs you to have a listening ear. 

Don't be so busy that you miss when 
someone just needs you to sit with them. 

Don't strive for more when 
you can just rest in the peace of God. 

Be still. 

Listen for the voice of God. His voice is there, 
but when we fill ours lives with busyness, worry, 
and seeking attention for ourselves it's harder 
to hear Him when He speaks. 

Be still.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Are You Ready for a Change? Every Morning is a New Start!

Habits are small things that make a BIG difference.

       How many times have you started a challenge, made a resolution, or set a goal that you failed at? There was a 2013 article that stated that only 8% of people kept their New Years' resolutions! And those who had set big goals for themselves usually only did them for a little over a week. 
       I think many times we have this ideal, and we want it to happen now. When in reality, we need to make small changes that become habits. These habits make a big difference in our lives, often times reaching that big vision we had. 
       I'm going to list some challenges below, including the ones I've already put out there. I encourage you to pick just one. Now, write it down in your journal or a notebook, and decide what small change you can make for this to start to become a lifetime habit. It takes 28 days to form a habit. Be diligent, but get over doing it perfectly. If you miss a day or more, start again the next day. God tells us that His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness! He will help you succeed! And lastly, tell someone what you are pursuing. Having someone to share with and encourage you is big! You may even ask them to text you every day to spur you on in your new habit. Or maybe just sharing on this page what you are going to do will keep you accountable. 
       May the Lord bless you all and keep you. May His face shine on you and give you peace! 💛

Choose One that you currently are not doing every day.

Read God's Word                              Drink at least 8 cups Water  
Meditate on Scripture                       Get your Heart rate up 

Quiet time in Prayer                          Reduce Sugar intake 

Memorize Scripture                          Stretch
Set limits on Social Media                Spend time Outside

Use Encouraging Words                    Eat a Veggie with every Meal

Practice Joyfully Serving                   Get Protein in all your meals 

       Write out or tell someone your specific plan. If your going to read the Bible every day you could write out "Read one chapter every day" or "Read Bible for at least 10 minutes every day" or "Read one verse every day".  Small attainable steps lead to big change!    

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Devotional thoughts from Tiffany

      'There's a story I just heard. A mom was making pancakes for her 2 boys. The boys argued back and forth about who would get the first one. So the mom used the moment to try and teach the boys about what Jesus would do. He would let the other one go first and put others above himself. So the older boy looked at the younger  brother and said, "you be Jesus."'

      This is from a marriage study I'm doing. She used that example to show that in our marriages we tend to do this a lot without even knowing it. When our spouse hurts us we internally say he needs to be Jesus. Instead we should always be the first one to actually be Jesus. Serving our spouse, loving and forgiving, offering grace like Jesus. Wow, that really hit me. How often do we defend ourselves? How often do we think we deserve for our spouse to be the one to apologize? Treat us a certain way? Step up in different areas? When in reality if we each do our part God will work out ALL the details. Even if our spouse is 98% wrong and we're only 2% wrong we still need to focus on that 2% that needs work, and God will take care of the heart of our spouse. ❤❤
      Can you trust God to "fix" your spouse? Or do you think you do a better job with nagging and pointing out all of their faults?
Such a humbling study this morning . 

      I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Comment below!

Monday, May 18, 2020

How have you been? And what's on your mind?

Happy Monday evening to you all! I hope your week has started out well. We had a wonderful extended weekend here celebrating a 1st birthday, a graduation, and fun family time.

Well, is anyone else still trying to keep some of these challenges? I know I feel so much better when I am following these! I have much more peaceful and purposeful days when I'm spending time in God's Word. I have just started a new Bible companion book that my daughter got me for Mother's Day, and it looks so good!

I really need to keep remembering to drink my water on the busy and tired days (drinking coffee instead). And definitely need to stretch more. 

Maybe you're seeing this for the first time and want to join us.
Pull up the last post to see all of the challenges!

What have been the hardest ones for you? 

What has been on your mind?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Personal Challenge #3 - May 11th - May 24th

These next two weeks I wanted to add just 
one new challenge.
 I'm also going to give a quick reminder of all the ones we have done so far. 
I am trying to continue to do all of them, 
but some days I don't go as well as other days! 
Let's remember that delicate balance of giving ourselves 
grace as well as a nice big healthy push!
Are you ready?!

 Challenge # 3

Week 1 ~ fast from all social media
Week 2 ~ set boundaries in this area

* If social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc...) is not something you do, fast from something else. Maybe it's the news, or texting, online window shopping, or watching movies. 
If we are honest with ourselves, we waste a tremendous amount of time doing things that do not help us spiritually, emotionally, or physically. And these things are detrimental to the precious relationships we have right in front of us. 

~ Prepare to be amazed at the extra time we find when we 
cut these things out of our days this week!

~ Try focusing on our relationships instead.

~ Ask God to show us how to manage our time in this area.
Ask Him to show us if there is anything we need to
surrender to Him in this area. 

* There are many wonderful things about technology, but we need to still your hearts and really think about what kind of feelings we're getting and where are focus is left after engaging in the activities and things we choose to add to our lives. Discontent, Fear, Self-focus, Despair, Pride, Lethargy, Apathy...the list goes on and on with attitudes and lies that drag us down.   

Philippians 4:8 says 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

~ Consider setting one time in the morning and one time in the evening to check and respond to our email messages and texts. 
Our phones still do ring if we need to be contacted!
Better yet! Our doorbells work :)

Challenge Reminders

Make quiet time in the Word and 
Prayer a priority, every day!

Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.

Get your heart rate up, several times, 
every day!

Put to memory a passage of Scripture

Reduce your sugar intake

Stretch Daily

Keep looking up! 🤍

Staying Well Tip:  

Boosting your Immune system

Get your Vitamin D

Go out in the sunshine (without sunscreen) for at least 15 minutes a day, making sure you have plenty of skin exposed. The most intense sun is between 10-4, so try early mornings or late afternoons if getting exposed to too much UV rays concerns you.

Get your Vitamin C

Eat foods high in vitamin C every day.
We know that citrus fruits, like oranges, are high in C, but 
did you know kiwi and red and green peppers have even more? Strawberries, broccoli, kale, parsley, papaya...go look up all the yummy foods that give you vitamin C.

Exercise to keep your lymph system moving

A nice brisk walk is excellent. Move your arms while your walking to increase the circulation. 
Bouncing on a trampoline (small bouncing is suitable) 
is shown to be one of the best things for this.
Be sure to stay hydrated.

Get enough rest

Studies show that your most health-giving rest is what we get before midnight. So Ben Franklin was right in saying "Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." 

Work on your gut health

A huge percentage of your immune health is in the gut. So eat lots of veggies, fruits, and healthy fats and drink plenty of water (hot water or tea after a meal helps some) to keep things moving in your GI tract. Exercise is also important for this.

Lay your cares at the feet of Jesus

Stress is a killer of your immune systems as well as so many other things. Start each day asking the Lord to lead you through the day. He takes care of the sparrows and the lilies, we can take care of you. He may ask you to throw your whole plan for the day out the window - that's OK. We have to learn to surrender. I know...it's hard.
Maybe before bed, take our a note book and draw a line down the middle of the page. On the top right side write blessings. On the top left side write Negatives. Under negatives write out everything that went wrong or bothered you that day. Under blessing write out all the blessings you received that day (don't forget things like beautiful stars, the sound of birds, running water). Then go through your list in prayer, thanking the Lord for the blessings and telling Him your mistakes, hurts, worries, and problems and work through each one with your loving Heavenly Father. He knows, He cares!

Laugh and Love

You may have to find something funny to read or watch or ask a funny friend to come over for coffee, but laughter is one of the best medicines! Maybe you could just have a contest with the others in your house on who can foster up the best laugh.
Finally, love people. Serve them. This brings joy and purpose, which brings health.  

Sunday, May 3, 2020

A Prayer to Psalm 139

O Lord you have search me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  Thank you, Father! You know my name and you care for me in a personal way. 

 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. Lord, you know all about me, even what I am going to say because you know my deepest thoughts. 

 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
You are here with me. I can hardly comprehend that You are so intimately close! 

 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 
 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Thank you that You follow me even when I am rebellious and trying to figure life out on my own. Thank You for disciplining me in Your love and for placing my feet on solid ground as I repent and submit to Your ways is everything. I know You will lead me on straight paths for You will be my Guide. 

  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Lord, I pray that You will shine Your light on any sin in my life or the lives of my loved ones so that darkness will be defeated and chains broken. Thank you that if any of us feels the darkness of depression, anxiety, and fear we can know that Your light outshines all of this, even if we don't see it or feel it. For darkness is as light to You!

   For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body; All that you have made is good. I do praise you for you have not made a mistake. All of creation praises Your name. You use things that we sometimes call "defects" to bring glory to Your name as walk under Your strength. 

  ...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. 
Help me to always remember that You already know all of my days and the days of those I hold dear. This gives me great peace, Lord. You are always there. 

   If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 
Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 
I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Oh Lord, give me wisdom to navigate these uncertain times. Give me courage to stand up and speak up against the injustice, tyranny, lies and corruption that I see in our country. Keep my hearts' intent pure as I speak truth boldly in love. Thank you that You are the One who takes revenge and I am not. Help me Lord!

 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Yes Lord! I ask that You would search my heart and reveal and bring to light all that is not pleasing to You. Give me strength to confess these things so that together we can stand with each other in prayer as we fight against all that is not pleasing to You. Teach me Your ways O Lord and guide me in Your truth! ~ In Jesus name I pray