Can you believe it is August already? The changing of the months is a great time for reflection. Yesterday author Annie F. Downs posted on Instagram, mentioning that she made a list of all the blessings July held for her. I thought this was a wonderful idea! What a fabulous way to end each month. One blessing in my July was a trip to the mountains. What about you? Did your July hold any special moments? I hope so.
I also wanted to share what I posted on the Christian Reads blog today. I hope you enjoy it!
And just for fun, below is a picture of how the sky looked last night. God’s beautiful artwork!
I have something fun to share with you today. During the month of September I will be hosting The Redeemed Challenge. To join in you will want to grab a copy of my book You Are Redeemed, read the corresponding chapter for that day, and then meet up with me here or on social media. You can expect to find a short post from me each day in September. I hope and pray we all get a lot out of reading (or re-reading) through this book. I chose to host The Redeemed Challenge during the month of September because You Are Redeemed will turn one year old in September! I can’t believe my second book has almost reached its first Birthday!
I am also trying to spend most of my spare time working on my third book. But I do have a full time job, so that means I don’t have a ton of spare time. But I will squeeze writing in whenever I can. Because of that, I might not be posting on the site as often over the next month.
However, I will still be posting every Thursday on the Christians Read blog. So I will try my best to share those with you here over the next month. Here is my post from this past Thursday in which I shared wildlife pictures from our recent trip to The Smoky Mountains. You will love them, I promise!
Hi Friends! I am so excited to tell you that I have been nominated for The Liebster Award! I want to thank Perth Girl for this nomination. I am truly honored! Perth Girl is a blogger who writes about faith, family, and food. Check out this fabulous blog when you have a moment. You will be sure to walk away feeling encouraged. faithfood.blog
11 Facts about me:
The 11 questions I was asked:
1 – What Inspired you to start writing? I wanted to write for as long as I could remember. This likely stemmed from my love for reading.
2 – Do you listen to music while you write? No. I do not like any distractions when I am writing. So I usually need to find a quiet place when writing.
3 – In two words or less, how would you describe your sense of Humour? Unpredictable 😀
4 – What is your favourite quote? This is a difficult question. Not because I don’t have a good answer. Rather I have too many good answers because I am a quote lover. I will go with:
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you? – William Arthur Ward.
5 – What are you reading at the moment? My sister and I are re-reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I am also reading Love Life Again by Tracie Miles.
6 – What do you wish you were better at? Lots of things but I will say I wish I were better at talking to people.
7 – If you could be on a talk show which one would you choose and why? I really don’t watch enough television to know what talk shows are current. LOL. So I am going to go with the morning show on my radio station. That is The Morning Cruise on The Joy FM. I love listening Dave, Bill, and Carmen on my morning commute.
8 – What is your least favourite food? Liver. (And my husband loves it!)
9 – What meal or dish can you make really well? Cheeseburger soup is a favorite at my house.
10 – What is your favourite thing to do when you have time by yourself? Read and write.
11 – What is your favourite trip you took and why? I am not sure about a favorite trip. But my husband and I have a favorite destination, which is The Great Smoky Mountains. We love looking for black bears and other wildlife.
I am supposed to nominate eleven people. But it was difficult narrowing this down to only eleven. So I am opening this up to all of my followers. If you have a blog, and decide to post about this, then please let me know. Or you can also comment here with your answers.
My questions for you if you choose to participate:
1 – Do you have a favorite place to write or read?
2 – What are you reading at the moment?
3 – Would you rather read the book or watch the movie?
4 – If you could eat dinner with anyone in the world, anyone in history, who would it be?
5 – If you could live or visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
6 – Are you a morning person or a night owl?
7 – What is your favorite book?
8 – Are there certain things you like to do in the morning to start your day off on the right foot?
9 – What is one of your favorite memories?
10 – What has been your favorite job?
11 – What hobbies do you enjoy?
Happy Weekend, my friends! Can you believe that we have reached the end of June, which means that 2019 is half over?! Time sure does fly. It seems like we were just ringing in the new year. And then we blinked. And here it is midyear. It can be sad to think about.
But instead of letting this fact depress us, let’s use it as a stepping stone in the right direction. Did you make any progress towards your goals? Did you accomplish anything on your to-do list? Did you do any spring cleaning? This weekend is the perfect time to evaluate where you have been the past six months and where you are going for the six months ahead.
I have a blog post I wanted to share here that will help you with this task. As you might recall me mentioning, I write on the Christians Read blog every Thursday. So I wanted to share this past Thursday’s post with you. It has to do with this very topic of a Midyear Reflection. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I really want to be a minimalist. Or maybe I want to want to be a minimalist? (Yes, I meant to put the words “want to” twice!) Because, in all honesty, it is not easy becoming a minimalist.
What is minimalism? Basically majorly decluttering your home, and keeping it that way. Getting rid of all the excess junk that you don’t need. If you live in America, then chances are you have too much stuff. But when we try to clean out our houses, it can be difficult to get rid of things.
I have one parent who is sentimental and keeps everything. And I have another parent who is the opposite. Thankfully I take after the latter in this regard. But when it comes time to declutter, I feel more like the former. I am sure you know what I mean. You probably think to yourself that you might need that stray iPhone cord one day. Or perhaps you really like that figurine that you bought on vacation and you just can’t part with it.
But here’s the thing. It’s just stuff. Stuff that, in the grand scheme of things, is not all that important. Stuff does not last. What lasts is our relationship with God, our relationships with others, and memories. Those are the things to hang on to with all your might.
If you’re still not convinced, how about this? “Studies show that there is actually a link between clutter, stress, depression, and even the dissolution of familial relationships.” Yep, it’s true. So doesn’t that make you want to start packing? Clutter seriously makes me want to hyperventilate. You can ask my husband. I try to overlook our clutter for a time. But then one day I finally snap and start shoving things behind a closed door. Instead of having junk drawers, we have junk rooms! Ok I am being lighthearted about this topic, but it is true. And I do believe we can all benefit from some decluttering.
Are you ready to get started? If so, here are a few tips:
You can do this! I believe in you! Let me know how it goes!
Have you noticed how popular sloths have become recently? Everywhere you turn, you will see sloths. Stuffed animals, pillows, tumblers, plaques, jewelry, purses, etc. I don’t really understand this infatuation. Sloths are known for being extremely slow. So what is so great about that? Are there just a lot of lazy people in our culture today? Or are these people tired of our fast-paced world and envy the sloth? (If you are a sloth lover, then please comment and let me know what the obsession is all about! I really want to know!) I found it funny when I stumbled across a Bible verse that mentions the famous attribute of this creature.
“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” – Romans 12:11 ESV
As I dug further, I found there are actually numerous Bible verses where slothfulness is frowned upon. If you look up the word slothful in the dictionary, it means “lazy.” So the Bible is basically telling us not to be lazy. In the verse I have above, it is talking specifically about not being lazy when serving the Lord.
In Mark 10:45 and in Matthew 20:28 it says “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NLT) And there are many more verses in the Bible regarding serving, helping others, being good stewards, etc. When we read the Bible, it becomes clear that serving God and serving others is important.
Now let me clear up one thing though. We shouldn’t serve as a way of gaining God’s approval or acceptance. God already loves you more than you can imagine. He can’t love you more than He already does. It says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” (NLT)
I feel our servanthood should come from a place of love. We love the Lord so much, that we want to do things for His glory, His Kingdom, and to honor Him. And we should want to be good to others in order to illustrate the love of the Lord. We might be the only reflection of Jesus that some people might see in their day … or in their lifetime. How very sad it would be if we missed our chance. So as for me, I hope that I am never slothful when it comes to serving the Lord.
Love, acceptance, appreciation, and understanding. I believe that these are universal things that most human beings want. We want someone to love us. We want to be accepted. We want to feel appreciated. We want someone to understand us.
We cannot rely on other people to love us every single second of every single day. Other people will fail in this area from time to time. No one is perfect and no one can love perfectly. No one, except God. God loves us. God accepts us. God appreciates us. God understands us. God can love us all the time. And He does. God loves us with an unconditional and everlasting love. Even when we make mistakes, even when we mess up, even when we are at our worst – God still loves us. The Bible says that we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). When we fully understand how much God truly loves us, this causes us to want to love Him in return. Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). So it is obviously important because it is a command in the Bible. But loving God comes easy when we fully embrace His love for us. This will cause us to want to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul.
It will also make us want to hand Him the reigns and allow Him to have control of our lives. We will see that He can handle everything much better than we have done without Him. When we try to do things in life under our own strength, we will fall short. We make plans, we try to accomplish things, we set goals – but often under our own efforts, those things fall apart. But once we allow God to be King of our lives, we will see miracles happen. Because we have the Lord guiding our lives and guiding our steps, we will have stronger relationships, we will see our goals accomplished, we will have peace in our hearts, we will have purpose, and ultimately we will finally find true contentment.
God wants to be part of our lives. God wants to be our friend. God wants to be our companion. God wants to have an intimate relationship with each and every one of us. God wants us to seek Him. God wants to help us with decisions in our lives. God wants to guide our path. God wants to help us overcome obstacles. God wants to bless us. Basically…
God. Wants. Us.
How beautiful is that? The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords wants us. I don’t know about you, but this alone makes me want to love God with all my heart, mind, and soul. It makes me want to love God every moment of every day. It makes me want to seek God. And it makes me want to spread His love to those around me. It also makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to do His will. It makes me want Him to shine His light on every dark area of my life. It makes me want to give God my heart.