Even Now

The locusts were sent by God as a judgment on an unfaithful people. They had turned their backs on Him. They had forsaken the One who had brought them so far. Then, there are two of the sweetest words in Scripture…

“Even now…”

After all that you’ve done – even now you can return to me.

After all the places you have been – even now there is a place for you here with me.

No matter how far we have fallen. No matter how many times it has happened. No matter what lies the enemy whispers. God says to us, “Even now, come back to me.”

And He calls us back, not to a place of shame, but of restoration. (Joel 2:25)

He promised to restore what the locusts had eaten. The locusts that were sent by Him in response to their sin. Think about that! He offers to restore to them the very things that their own unfaithfulness had cost them.

That’s grace.

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Let’s Catch Up!

It’s been way too long, friends, since I have visited this space. Let’s just say that there’s a whole lot of life being lived on this side of the screen.

However, for those who don’t follow my Bible journaling on my Insta page, I wanted to post some highlights from recent weeks.

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(I read this book every year during the week of Easter. I highly recommend it!)

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(As I sit here this morning, do I feel peace or panic? Do my efforts seem fruitful or in vain? Is the Lord’s presence evident in my life?

Often, I want to blame (or give credit for) the answers on my current circumstances, other people or my own effort.

What if it were all dependent upon my obedience to the Lord?)

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(God starts out by saying, “I have a command for you.” And, before anyone can even respond, He says, “it’s not too hard for you.”

{I would like to point out that He didn’t say that it wouldn’t be hard – but it wouldn’t be TOO hard.}

The command is to choose life.
To choose good.
To choose Him every time.

Also, how cute is this phone case from Prone to Wander LA?!)

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(It’s been said that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

God’s “past behavior” has always been faithfulness. He has kept every promise He ever made. Anyone can be a promise maker but our God is a promise keeper.

One really fun way to study scripture is to begin at the beginning and highlight every promise made by God. Then, as you make your way through, highlight or somehow mark the fulfillment of those promises. )

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(Our hope comes from what we KNOW and not what we feel.

Also, another super cute phone cover from Prone to Wander LA. I have signed my blogs and books with “You are loved” for years so I am in love with this one!)

He is risen, friends.

He is risen, indeed.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead… 2 Timothy 2:8

You are loved. ❤

Two Bible Study Tips for the New Year

Here are a few excerpts from our first two weeks with the F260 Bible reading plan. As I read each day, I am looking for two things:

An Inhale – a meditation

An Exhale – an application

Here are a few examples.

*****

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Inhale: Grief changes people.

Exhale: Do I allow people who have suffered a great loss to find their new normal?

26220011_1573868926038645_7647826988527679204_nInhale: We must know Scripture well so that we do not speak things of God that are not true.

Exhale: Do I use God’s Word to shame or condemn someone instead of to bring light and freedom?

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Inhale: The GOspel is about going.

Exhale: Where (or to whom) is God calling me to go?

*****

I would love to hear from y’all and know what God is revealing to you!

Also, follow me on Instagram for my daily Bible journal posts!

You are loved. ❤

Blog the Bible 2018

If you have not yet chosen a Bible reading plan for 2018, I would love for you to join me! I’m using the F260 plan which you can download here. It’s a little bit lighter than some other plans with only 5 days a week in the schedule. Also, something that makes it different is that it includes a weekly memory verse which I love.

I will be posting my journal entries from my daily reading on my Instagram account. That will be the best place to connect with me daily regarding the Bible reading. However, I will post occasional updates here on the blog.

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I would love to hear what God reveals to you this year. So, feel free to leave a comment or email me with your thoughts as you make your way through God’s Word this year!

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You are loved. ❤

Stacy

An Extra Ordinary Life

Perhaps, it began in high school when I had dreams of being a corporate lawyer with a corner office. I spent many an afternoon envisioning my days spent in the courtroom and my evenings in my high rise apartment in the city.

Or, maybe, it was when I was in college pursuing an education degree and an older gentleman insisted I was made for something different. I was too much of a free spirit, he said, to spend my days in the classroom. Ron, from the lawn and garden department at Lowe’s, convinced me that there were exotic places I needed to visit and adventures I needed to have.

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It’s possible, of course, that it came much later when I began using social media and fell prey to its culture of comparison. Someone is always enjoying life a little more, mothering with a tad more chutzpah, and making their mark on the world in a slightly bolder way.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter when it occurred. The fact is that, at some point, I developed this idea that I had to do something extraordinary with my life. There’s this restlessness inside that tells me that I need to convince the world that I’m “somebody.”

I spent several years as the executive assistant to the president of a multi-million dollar company and, I’ll be honest, people were impressed by that. Then, I was given the opportunity to write a few books and, again, people were impressed by that. Yet, I currently find myself in a season where I’m doing neither of those things. I’m just here, plucking away behind the scenes, doing nothing extraordinary.

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In fact, if I’m brutally honest, I’m doing just the opposite; I’m living an extra ordinary life. I’m making meals and bathing babies. I’m reading bedtime stories and checking math assignments. I’m making beds and drinking coffee. It all sounds delightful and yet, in my heart, it feels like I’m covered in ordinary.

Then, it comes to me.

The Christmas story is all about a majestic King who removed His royal robes and clothed Himself in the ordinary flesh of man.

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. Isaiah 53:2

We live in a world that praises the extraordinary but, I dare say, there are far more of us that fall into the extra ordinary category. Many of us feel disillusioned because we thought we would have done more, seen more, become more. We had big ideas, big dreams, and big plans, yet our lives seem very small.

Sometimes, those of us leading these ordinary lives feel like we’ve missed out on some holy assignment or grand adventure. We fear that, maybe, we are here washing the same dishes and folding the same laundry day after day and, all the while, there is some “thing” out there that we are supposed to be doing. We wonder if God even sees us down here covered in our ordinary.

But the beauty of God’s plan of redemption – the whole essence of the gospel – is that God chose to cover Himself in ordinary when he put on flesh.

Christ’s birth was announced to shepherds doing what shepherds do – watching their flocks by night. They were not trying to write How to be a Shepherd in Three Easy Steps. They weren’t building a business or trying to gather a following. Those are fine endeavors but it is also okay, for crying out loud, for a shepherd to just be a faithful shepherd. Before we focused on bigger things, what if we were just really diligent and faithful in the ordinary things God has us doing right now.

An ordinary virgin, ordinary shepherds, ordinary fishermen and a God who chose ordinary flesh. Maybe, just maybe, we can live a faithful, God-honoring, neighbor-loving, ordinary life and, in the end, look back and say, “Wow, wasn’t that an extraordinary ride!”