Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Awarad

Thanks to Joy A. Mead (https://joyamead.com/) who was so sweet to nominate me several months ago for the Versatile blogger Award. Joy writes a beautiful blog about “Christian reflections on everyday happenings, motherhood, & transatlantic life”. She shares adorable stories about her children and husband that are so relatable and you feel like Joy is speaking to you across her kitchen table sharing a pastry and a cup of coffee or tea.

I decided this was the perfect time for me to participate because I get to share with my friends fifteen other bloggers that I enjoy following. It is also the perfect timing because I am going to be taking a little break from blogging to move.

My husband and I have been working the past 7 years on making plans once we are empty- nesters. Well that time has almost arrived. As God’s word tells us in Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” God certainly has established our steps, stepping up our plans to moving a year ahead of our schedule. Moving into an apartment for a year before we make our final move to our “empty -nester” home is now the plan and it is moving along quite smoothly. (all moves have some hiccups and we have had a few, but for the most part it has been a pretty smooth considering we are doing this all during a pandemic!)

So during this time I hope you will check out these amazing Bloggers. I’ll be back in July with more devotionals and blogs sharing God’s Word of Love, Joy, and Hope.

Part of the Versatile Blogger Award is I have to share seven interesting facts about myself. So without further adieu:

  1. I love traveling with my husband!
  2. I once rode my bicycle from Houston to Austin for the MS 150 Bicycle Ride! It was super fun and exhausting.
  3. I have ridden my bicycle over the causeway to Galveston Island. (Not like other people haven’t, but it was pretty scary to me)
  4. Besides being an Elementary School teacher for 23 years I have also had my Real Estate License in two states. I loved helping first time buyers find their first homes.
  5. One of my favorite past times is to watch HGTV and the DIY channel.
  6. I have self diagnosed myself with “squirrelaphobia” My definition: An acute fear of squirrels. Yes, I am deathly afraid of those creatures! Seriously, if I am out walking in the neighborhood and see a squirrel on my side of the sidewalk or anywhere approaching me, I will cross the street. Silly, but true.
  7. I am a native Hoosier!

And here are my Nominees!

  1. Joy A. Mead http://joyamead.com
  2. T.R. Noble Inside Cup https://nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com/
  3. The “F” Word https://faithfood.blog/
  4. Grace Over Pain https://graceoverpain.com/
  5. Proverbs 31 Wanna-be https://srmiller1988.wordpress.com/
  6. Real Christian Women https://realchristianwomen.blog/
  7. Laura Bon https://laurabon.com/
  8. Becoming His Tapestry https://becominghistapestry.com/
  9. Beauty Beyond Bones https://beautybeyondbones.com/
  10. In His Service and Loving It https://inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com/
  11. My Way Home https://mywayhomelife.wordpress.com/
  12. Heather C. King- Room to Breathe https://heathercking.org/
  13. Karina’s Thought https://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/
  14. Michelle Lesley https://michellelesley.com/
  15. The Godly Chic Diaries https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/

When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

Until July, Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy and enjoy reading these amazing blogs!

Verse of the Day

Keep Out That Sneaky Serpent

Idle mind? Did Eve have an idle mind when the serpent so shrewdly hoodwinked her into believing it was okay to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil? (Genesis 3)

Well, I can’t speak for Eve, but I know for myself when my mind is idle I am leaving room for that sneaky serpent to slither right in and manage my thoughts. I begin over thinking, negative thinking, selfish thinking, and just plain wrong thinking.

Having idle minds, and that is exactly what the evil one wants of us, is an unproductive way to try to be in control. When we recognize our minds drifting off we can turn our thoughts back to Jesus. He is the One in control after all!

Seek to live in the present; Jesus is always in the present. ( http://Romans 8:38-39)

Let God’s love soak into your soul. (http://Isaiah 41:3 )

Ask God to direct your thoughts to follow His will. ( http://Luke 9:23 )

Let’s turn our idle minds to Jesus today friend.

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Verse of the Day

Constantly Giving Thanks

Constantly being grateful is God’s will for us. ( 1 Thessalonians 5:18 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+5%3A18&version=ESV)

But how often do we either write in our “Gratitude Journals” or in prayer thank God for our blessings then rush off to the next item on our list of “Things to Do”?

Guilty! Today’s verse reminds us that we need to carry our thankfulness for all our blessings with us throughout our day. Thanking the One who supplies all our needs all the time.

Sing along with your favorite praise music from your heart to Jesus during your day. Sing songs of praise and thanks directly to Him.

Pause several times during your day as you begin and end tasks to thank God for strength, endurance, and perseverance.

When falling asleep at night, thank your Father again for an amazing day He provided.

I think we will find that when we are grateful throughout our day we will find many more blessings we would have otherwise missed when we rush off to the next thing on the list.

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Verse of the Day

See Over Us

Life is too short to hold grudges, and no one these days has time for strife. Friend, today if you are having trouble letting go of a deep wound ask Jesus to cover you and your offender with his love. Ask Him to help you exchange feelings of hate for compassion,kindness and love. He is sure to see over you. Just take a closer look at the word cover.

C-OVER!

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

I was so excited to hear that my friends Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory had decided to continue their podcast, “Grit N Grace Girls”. Check out their new content here https://gritngracegirls.com/category/grit-n-grace-podcast/

Verse of the Day

Confusing News

Are you starting or are you way past being confused by all the contradictions being reported on the news each day as much as this girl is?

For me she pretty much sums up the confusion I am feeling when I turn on the news just to try to get the weather report to see if I can get out to get some fresh air.

But do we need to allow these people, so-called experts,to start us spinning out of control into a frenzy of confusion, chaos, depression, and even worse hateful agendas against others also facing this pandemic?

The Bible tells us we need to trust in the Lord. Today’s verse reminds us how much better off we are when we “take refuge in Jesus than in man”. (Psalm 118:8)

Let’s take some time today to take shelter in the Word of God. There we will find all the hope, love, peace, healing, and joy we will ever need.

Here are a few verses I find comforting when I am searching for a little peace in the pandemic.

God is enough. He is enough to get us through these uncertain times.

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy.

Devotion

Am I Being Selfish?

How many times do you tell yourself, “I’m not going to worry about anything today.”? Then within a matter of possibly seconds your mind starts whirling, the “How will I’s”, the “What if’s,” and the ever popular, “How am I ever…”.

I must admit, as hard as I try and as many times as I go to God and tell Him, “Okay Jesus today is the big day I stop worrying and totally trust you”, I too get these bothersome thoughts.

The Greek word, Merimnao means: to be anxious, to be troubled with cares and to look out for one’s own interests.

Hmm? When we worry about finances, our health, our children’s health and what will become of us in the future, are we being selfish? Should we not worry about these things? Aren’t these all serious worldly ideas to be concerned about every day?

Well, the Bible tells us “No”. Matthew 6:25-32 explains:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  

Continuing Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  As believers in Jesus Christ we are to put all our faith and trust in Him everyday for everything.

When we worry we are being selfish and also saying that we do not need the Savior we are claiming we believe in and call our Father. Ouch!

Oh how blessed we are that we have a loving, forgiving, and gracious God!

When those selfish, worrying thoughts start to trickle in there is a way out.

Confess our sins. Pray Psalm 139:23: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Tell God exactly what you are worrying about. He already knows, but when we tell Him we feel so much better.

God will forgive us: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)

We can be certain that absolutely nothing will ever separate us from our loving Father, who by the way, loved us first! Romans 8:39 reminds us of this Truth: “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Finally, we can replace our anxious, worrisome thoughts with praises of thanksgiving from our hearts to our Heavenly Father who we have put ALL our Trust that He IS ALL SUFFICIENT!.

As our verse of the day reminds us, “We will have no fear of bad news OUR HEARTS ARE STEADFAST, TRUSTING IN THE LORD!” (my emphasis!)

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

If you would like to dive deeper into praying, asking God to “Search Me”. I have been reading a fantastic book by Pastor Craig Groeschel titled, “Dangerous Prayers”. Let me just tell you I get nothing for recommending this book. I am currently in a Bible Study that is reading the book and finding the contents so profound and changing my prayer life in amazing ways I wanted to share it with my friends. You can buy the book at any of your favorite book sellers. Here is the Amazon link for you. You can also go to “My Favorite Websites” and buy the book through Proverbs 31. Again, I receive nothing for recommending this book.

Devotion

The Promise of the Faithful is JOY!

Have you ever thought about the relationship between our level of thankfulness and joy? How about the posture of our attitudes, especially during these times of uncertainty?

I have to admit, most of the time I am a positive, glass half full kind of gal. I keep up with my gratitude journal, thanking God for all of the many, many blessings He has provided me. Lately, though, I have felt a bit lagging in the Joy department.

Now when I talk about Joy, I’m not speaking of being happy, like I am happy the sun is shining today or jumping around all giddy because our local grocery store actually had toilet paper on the shelves today. No, Joy is deeper. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan writes in his book, “Who Do You Say I Am”, “Joy is not a hyperpositive mania about everything and seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. That would tend to be very annoying wouldn’t it?” He continues, “By joy, I’m talking about interior peace. This, Saint Paul teaches, gives rise to exterior happiness. Joy gives us freedom but doesn’t make us reckless. True joy won’t get on your nerves.”

I have read this description of joy several times and just let the words, “interior peace” sink into my soul.

Living joy today means we live with inner peace daily.

How do we then obtain this inner peace each day of our lives?

Jesus died a painful death after living a blameless, sinless life so we could be free of our sins. He invites us everyday to wear the clothing of salvation with overabundant joy.

A sure fire way to level up our joy is to fortify it with gratitude. Start each day with an attitude of thankfulness for all God has and will continue to do for us. This type of attitude allows us to live according to God’s will and not our own. We will be more “God-Conscientious” and as we move throughout our day we will turn to Him for more strength.

He is the fuel for our Joy.

He can and will bring the inner peace, Joy, we so desire and want. It is also His desire for us. As 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

What are you thankful for today? I can’t be more thankful for an amazing God who loves me unconditionally, forgives me of my sins, strengthens me when I am weak, all when I am not deserving.

Oh, and not to forget an amazing mom who talked me off the ledge today during a little break down. Listing your home during the Covid-19 can be a bit overwhelming, as if selling a home during “normal” circumstances isn’t stressful enough! I know God’s got this too if I just remember to:

Look up, Let Go, and Live Joy! And start and end each day with Thanksgiving.

Devotion

I Am Yours

What a blessing it is to be alive today in Christ! A blessing to know that I am not my own, that I am His.

I often get caught up in my own little world doing my own projects and forget that exorbitant blessing. Going about my day, even in the midst of this pandemic of the Covid-19, my tiny universe is moving right along. The plans my husband and I have made for our future seem to be on track, even though the “market” is in a weird state of flux. Our children appear to be adjusting just fine to home schooling (a bit bored, but aren’t we all), and I have all the time in the world to clean and disinfect my house. Life is good.

But is it so good I need not remember every day whose I am? That I can do all things in my own strength, will, and way?

Uh, no. the answer to all those questions is a big fat no.

Everyday I need to wake up remembering whose I am. I am not my own, I belong to my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I need to remember that not every day has been easy. There were and will be days of struggle, despair, and heartbreak again. Aren’t these the times we usually always remember to cry out to Jesus for His strength and support.

For me, those are the days I am most likely to remember whose I am. I cry out to Jesus. And I can tell you when I do, on those days when my heart is aching the most, I always find peace. It may not be instantly, but the peace and answers always come. God’s blessings show up one way or another.

So I ask myself, if only I would call out to Jesus and let Him know “I am not mine Jesus, I am Yours” on the good days, how much better could those days be?

I need Jesus everyday!

Today’s verse reminds me that He is the creator of All. He is in control 365 days of the year. He will lead us down straight paths when we let him know we are not our own, we are His.

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Side Note: I am blessed to be living in an area of the country that has not been a “Hot Spot” for Covid-19. My prayers daily go out to those of you living in the areas where this virus has hit the hardest. I pray for those who have lost loved ones and could not be there with them during their last minutes. I want you to know your loved ones were not alone. Jesus was with them. You may not find comfort in this today as your heart is hurting, but just call out to Jesus, He will heal you and bring you peace.