God, is that you?

I so enjoy seeing God’s fingerprints across my calling to ministry to work with young women desiring to walk Biblically. Tonight I received a message from a dear sister in Christ. She simply stated, “I feel like asking, God are you really listening?”

I have asked that a few times in my own prayer life… and felt bad about it. As my heart burns with a deep desire to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God, it seems insulting to let the thought cross my mind that I might need to jump back into the driver’s seat of my life and let Jesus take a break for a few miles.

This is why it is CRUCIAL to know scripture. When Satan’s schemes appear in your life as ugly emotions, ungodly relationships, health difficulties, addiction, or fear, it is then that we must be prepared to walk confidently in the truth of the Word of God.

In this particular moment of my friend sharing her raw emotions, I was reminded of John’s doubts while in prison. In Matthew 11:3, John asked if Jesus was really “The One who is to come?” Note, John had already baptized Jesus even though he felt he was “unworthy to touch His sandals.” John knew who Christ was. He baptized Him in the name of His Father. Lastly, v. 2, John had heard what Christ was doing while he was sitting in prison. How often do you hear of Christ working boldly in someone else’s life and you wonder, “Ok, Jesus. When’s my turn?” Wow- that is a whole other lesson.

Anyways, Jesus never rebuked John for asking. For wondering. For maybe even fearing a little..

Jesus will not rebuke us in the moments of life when we just can’t seem to grasp what He is doing.

When our hearts are burdened and we can’t seem to release what we know He can hold, instead of bashing ourselves, we should reflect on the life of John.

John found himself in prison for preaching the Gospel of Jesus, fulfilling the prophacy that he would be the forerunner of Christ. He did not stay caught up in his doubt-He continued to love like the author of love. He found faith in our awesome God to be all he needed. He lived a life of devoted ministry to Christ.

“Truly I tell you, among these born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared..” (Matt. 11:11).

God strengthened John to fulfill his calling in this life. He will strengthen us, too.

I’d ask my Granny- she was very wise.

I’ll ask my grandmother. She is very wise.

What year did Jackson Brothers open?

Let me just tell you what happened today.

How much butter do you normally use?

Do you think he’d make a good husband?

You need to have a talk with her. I think she’s going silly.

How are we related to him again? Are you sure..

Who is in this picture? Where was it taken?

How old were you when..

I’ll ask my grandmother. She is very wise.

I would ask my grandmother. She’d know the answer. She knew everything. She knew everyone. She knew how to straighten everyone up, too. She always said I would be a good writer. We talked about writing a book together. She would have taught me so many things about history and those that create it.

I am left with many memories and lots of pages filled with her handwriting. I have learned about walking with Jesus, baking pound cake, passionately praying for those on mission, and speaking boldly. I have read sermon notes, tips on getting along with difficult people, and grocery lists. Some may see random pages, notepads, bibles, and cookbooks but I see a cracked window into the life of my grandmother whom I can no longer call.

Do you talk to your grandmother? Do you copy down her recipes or ask for tips on running a household? Do you take time to notice the little routines she has perfected through the years? I would love to know how my grandmother managed to keep her life together AND be so involved with ministry. She was brilliant.

I am grateful for what I have but I’d give anything for her to answer the phone tonight. If you are lucky enough to have a grandparent or parent who can answer today, lay your agenda to the side and appreciate their wisdom and presence in your life.

Granny, I loved my time on earth with you. See you on the streets of gold real soon.

In loving memory of Dorothy Tillman Yow; gone incredibly too soon.

 

This picture is a favorite of mine. My grandmother lives today in the life of my father. Kindred spirits. Wonderful, true servants of Christ. My heart explodes each time I see their faces.

depending on the grace of God; part one

Depending on the grace of God and finding my worth solely in Him has always been a challenge for me. From a very young age, I battled the effects of being determined to succeed in MY plan by MY strength. I still wrestle with showing God I don’t need grace by reminding myself of areas in my life in which I consider myself an overachiever by nature.

I am the best daughter. I am an awesome granddaughter. I take pride in both of these areas of my life. Neither one is sinful in itself- in fact, I am commanded by God to honor my parents. But why?? I am called to be a wonderful daughter and granddaughter for the purpose of furthering God’s Kingdom. Not my own.

My point in sharing this is to confirm how incredibly easy it is to live a life based on ME rather than HE. After you label yourself as an overachiever in any area of your life, it is really easy to find your identity in what you are overachieving in rather than in Christ.

The Gospel clearly states this is sin. As Christians, we are called to replace ourselves piece by piece with the character of Jesus. Only in full surrender do we live by God’s grace. However, I am not dismissed by God when I make a mistake. He made it possible through the gift of His son for me to live a purposeful, grace-filled life despite my sinful nature.

Morning Routine: Praying Over Your Planner

Part of my morning routine includes praying over my plans for the day. I have found myself filling the pages of my planner with snippets from my meeting with God from that morning. A few words. A few minutes of my time. A major impact on my day. I am reminded what is most important: serving He who put me here.

As you walk through your morning, you should introduce your plans to your Savior. It makes all the difference in the world. My attitude towards what I must complete that day shifts. Ask God to make it clear to you what is most deserving of your time today. You may not get everything accomplished. That is ok. You may need to say no to both people and things. That is ok. Saying yes to serving God means saying no to things that are not necessary in my day or lacking to build me up in Him.

My day is more than lesson planning, writing demonstrations, or meetings. I have aligned my heart with Christ and seek to honor Him in each block of time. This is only effective when in a close walk with the Prince of Peace. I recommend a daily morning one on one conference with Him and be sure to take notes that will remind you of His plan and purpose for your life.

#intentionalbyimperfplanned

The Throes of College Response Letters

I have several friends who are currently in the nail-biting process of waiting to receive acceptance or rejection letters from universities across the state. I remember the feeling all too well. I was so excited when I opened the big, burgundy envelope containing my acceptance to Meredith College not too long ago.

If you are currently in the throes of the college response letter stage or know someone who is, I encourage you to read and share these truths.

Your worth is not based on a college acceptance or rejection letter.

In the moment, it may seem like that news is what will make or break you. It won’t. Your value is so much greater than anything typed in a letter. You are a masterpiece of God who was created to serve HIM. Yes, if you are a believer, even college is supposed to be a time of service for God’s Kingdom. God will make sure you are where you can serve Him well if you seek His will.

The whole “God has a plan” thing isn’t cliche- it’s true.

As stated in the well-known 29th chapter of Jeremiah, God does indeed have a plan for your life. Yes, He has crafted a series of divine appointments for YOU. This is a great time to not only know or believe that verse but to put it into action in your life. {Insert my favorite quote: Think Biblically- act accordingly.}

Give space. Give lots of space.

One thing I found annoying during this stage of my life (who am I kidding- my biggest pet peeve) is nosiness. This can be an overwhelming process for some people and it does not help when you constantly bombard them with questions. When they are ready for you to know the details of their decision-making process, what schools they have or have not been accepted to, ect., they will share that with you.

It is OUR JOB as family and friends to remind them that we are praying for them during this time and we are excited about their new adventure. Offer to help in whatever way you can and leave the ball in their court. This isn’t your decision. They do not need to be slammed by your personal preferences.

2 easy steps to encouraging your people

Flashback to when I was convinced I would fail Spanish and have to take it AGAIN and I found this sweet note of encouragement on my desk along with some m&ms a few hours before my midterm. Y’all. This is what I’m talking about when I say take time to encourage your people. It probably took Mbug less than 5 minutes to do this but it made a big impact on my day.

Here’s two steps to successfully encouraging a friend and building them up in JESUS:

1) Make it personal. Write a note, buy their favorite candy bar, take 3 minutes to call them, ect.

2) Lead them to the ROCK that is HIGHER than you or me. Lead them to Jesus!! Share your favorite bible verse or a simple, short quote like Miranda did that will force them to remember how big our God is even in the tough, messy situations.

Y’all, it’s so easy! I’m making it a personal goal to do something similar to what Miranda did for me at least once a week for my peeps. Who’s joining me???

#intentionalbyimperfplanned

restored redeemed renewed

If you don’t feel like these 3 words describe you today- you aren’t the only one.

I woke up late this morning, rushed to find ski bibs, grabbed Dad’s Ohio State hoodie and my Seahawks toboggan, and ran out the door. I managed to make it to the Coffer Farm in a short 20 minute span of waking up. No breakfast. No makeup. Hair barely fixed. I was definitely not feeling renewed.

It’s my own fault. I stayed up WAY too late reading. It was an awesome book but the last few chapters could have waited. This averages happening to me at least three times a week. I know I need to have more self-discipline but I struggle.

I know some of you must be able to relate. My mornings are so much more productive when I am abiding by a steady, consistent routine. This year, I am committed to start transforming my mornings and I’m excited to share my journey with you. I hope you are inspired to develop a morning routine (if you don’t already have one) and allow a chat with Jesus to be prioritized in that precious time each day. Only through Him can we be restored, redeemed, and renewed.

#intentionalbyimperfplanned

{photo by @jordanfulk_photography}