In and Out of Season…

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“Preach the word, in and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with complete patience and teaching. The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching…” 2 Timothy 4:2-3.

I spent the last few weeks reading through 1 & 2 Timothy. Again and again I was struck by how applicable these letters were for us today. I was struck by Paul’s descriptions to Timothy of the culture they were living in. I guess I was so struck because it sounded like he was talking about 2017.

We’ve definitely entered a season that seems like the one Paul described in 2 Timothy 3 & 4.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5 {Side note: this is not a judgement completely on the world outside of the church. I see as much of these things in the church — in me — as I do anywhere else. We must be on guard and pick up the sword of the spirit, church!}

Here is what I think Paul was saying to us…

Don’t neglect God’s Word, its the very breath of God.

Don’t quit what you’re doing just because the world is falling apart.

Be ready to speak truth and live out your calling – in season and out.

Yet also? Be patient. Keep teaching. The Word of God is applicable and useful for every season, every generation, every culture, every person.

Let’s put on the armor of God. The armor doesn’t make us mean, it makes us ready, it guards our hearts, it gives us peace in the storm.

God is our shield and we have enough in Him. We don’t have to defend ourselves, He is our defense.

Lord, remind me each and everyday of the importance of filling myself with Your Truth. May I never place more importance on the things of this world than the truth of Your Word. Help me to not fall apart though the world if falling apart. Yes, sadness and grief come with this world, but help me to stay fixed on You and Your Truth through it all. Give me words of Truth with love. Help me to be ready, in and out of season, to show others who You are. Give me Your patience as I walk out this journey of life. With You, I can suit up in my armor that You’ve given me, each and everyday. You are my defense. You’ve given me the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the belt of Truth…I just need to pick it up and walk in it! Amen.

Write the Word: Ruth

 

Why Write the Word?

Take a quick moment and think about the things you write down throughout your day. Now, you may be more digital than I am, but I still WRITE in an actual paper planner, I write down my grocery list, notes to my kids, in my prayer journal…you get the idea.

But, why do we write things down? 

We write things down that we want to remember.

Why wouldn’t we want to write down the most important Words there are?

His Word is life to us — write it down!

His Word is a treasure — treat it as such!

His Word is comfort to us — allow Him to comfort you as you write.

His Word is conviction to us through His Holy Spirit — soften your heart as you write. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life as you write and pray His Word.

Find 12+ FREE Write the Word plans on this page! 

Write the Word Ruth Plan

Print your PDF for this plan here!

Write the Word Ruth PDF

Write the Word: Ruth

 

Why Write the Word?

Take a quick moment and think about the things you write down throughout your day. Now, you may be more digital than I am, but I still WRITE in an actual paper planner, I write down my grocery list, notes to my kids, in my prayer journal…you get the idea.

But, why do we write things down? 

We write things down that we want to remember.

Why wouldn’t we want to write down the most important Words there are?

His Word is life to us — write it down!

His Word is a treasure — treat it as such!

His Word is comfort to us — allow Him to comfort you as you write.

His Word is conviction to us through His Holy Spirit — soften your heart as you write. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life as you write and pray His Word.

Find 12+ FREE Write the Word plans on this page! 

Write the Word Ruth Plan

Print your PDF for this plan here!

Write the Word Ruth PDF

Huge Bible Journaling Give Away

I am SO excited about this give away!! Y’all, I have to tell you! I have been using these amazing Bible Journaling products for over a year now. I LOVE the products that Dayspring and Illustrated Faith puts out to encourage women to be in God’s Word!

I have been decluttering around my home and realized I could NEVER use this much washi tape, all of these stamps, ink pads and amazing items.

So, I want to SHARE THE LOVE with one of you!!

This box of goodies will go to ONE blessed winner and contains HUNDREDS of dollars of Bible journaling items as well as a few other goodies I am putting in the box!

All of the items in the box are from Dayspring & Illustrated Faith. There are multiple Devotional Journaling Kits, zipper bags, stamp sets, washi tape, patterned paper, ink stamps and more.

Give Away Details

Please click on this Rafflecopter Give Away to be entered!

U.S. entrants only. Give Away ends 5/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Products in the Shop

Head to the shop to see new mugs & notecards! 

5 Ways To Strengthen Ourselves in the Lord

“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6

In the midst of great distress and war happening all around him, David chose to strengthen himself in the Lord. In our times of distress, have we forgotten that these times call for picking up our shields, preaching the gospel to ourselves, replacing the lies of the enemy with truth and strengthening ourselves in the Lord?

The Lord gives us His strength. He is so gracious and good to us. When we are weak, His strength is perfect.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But, what does it mean that David actually strengthened Himself in the Lord? To me, this sounds like doing intentional and proactive battle in our minds against the enemy. We can sit by and do nothing, but eventually the lies become louder than the truth. Eventually the lies start to sound like truth. Eventually truth becomes negotiable.

I think there are ways we can be very intentional to build up our hearts and minds and to fill up on Jesus and not the world. I think we must learn to take up our shields and take every thought captive to Christ.

5 Ways to Strengthen Yourself in the Lord

Daily time in God’s Word. We cannot neglect God’s Word if we hope to fill our minds with truth and learn to discern a lie from the truth. The Holy Spirit transforms our minds as we read and meditate on His Word. Take it one step further and dig in deep to study it. Read 5 Suggestions for a Meaningful Quiet Time. 

Memorize His Word. Reading and studying God’s Word is vital. But, if we want to truly take on the schemes of the enemy, I think we need to have God’s Word hidden in our hearts and minds so that we can repeat, pray and speak Truth in the face of the battle.

Pray without ceasing. To strengthen our relationship with Christ, we must be in communication with Him. Talk to Him through the day. Whisper cries for help. Speak gratitude. Lift up those in need. There is always, always something to pray for. Don’t make it complicated. If you can’t think of what to pray, start with praying God’s Word.

Turn up the praise music. Music has a way of ministering to our hearts and minds like not many things can. Don’t neglect the gift of music and worship in your daily life. Don’t save it for Sundays.

Fellowship with believers.And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25. The longer we stay away from church or meeting with other believers, the more isolated we feel and the more the enemy can sneak into our minds when we allow this to happen. God made us for relationships. He wants us to encourage one another while it’s still called today. At my lowest times, when I didn’t FEEL like going to church, when I made myself do it, I was always, always so very grateful as I was leaving the service or meeting time. 

Put on the Full Armor of God

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” 

“God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.” Ephesians 6:10-20 from The Message26

How can you strengthen yourself in the Lord today, friends? 

4 Ways to Chase Slow

I just finished the book Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. It was so good and exactly what my heart needed. As you know, I’ve been on this journey myself. I read Present Over Perfect a few months ago and it kind of propelled me on this journey. This book was just the encouragement I needed to keep going against the grain.

4 Ways to Chase Slow

These things are just things God has been teaching me. They weren’t necessarily listed in the book in this way, but just themes God is placing on my heart time and time again lately. I hope something here resonates with you, too!

  1. Say no. Say it once today. Say it again tomorrow. Keep practicing. It won’t get easier but you WILL get better at it!
  2. But say yes to what matters. Saying no to some things allows us to say yes to the right things! As an example, my schedule was freed up just a little bit when I decided to stop teaching piano lessons. While that was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made before, it has allowed me to say YES to more time for homeschooling and  time for exercise and cooking healthy dinners!! I’m saying yes to the most important things in this season! But it had to start with a “no.”
  3. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Keep up with God instead. Don’t look to the left or the right…don’t feel inferior because of what so-and-so is doing. You look at the path God has given you and put one foot in front of the other!
  4. Abide in Christ. Read John 15 and ask God to show you where you are abiding. To abide means to dwell. To reside. Where are your thoughts residing? What about your heart? Where is your heart’s home? What are you dwelling on more: Pinterest or God?

Favorite Quotes from the Book

“Ask an Ethiopian what they need and they might tell you with a wide smile: amassing is meaningless. There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow. We cannot mend our seams to hoard, save, carry. Ask a bird how to fly, and it might tell you to remove the weight from your wings.” Erin Loechner

“Sometimes choppy waters teach us to sail better.” Erin Loechner

“We changed the rules, that is all. The instructions told us that hard work means logging a lot of hours at the office to pay for more things so as to appear you are logging a lot of hours at the office. The instructions tell us to work hard, then play hard, but mostly work hard. You can play hard when you’re dead. Isn’t this called responsibility? Isn’t this called wisdom? Straighten up, young man, you’ve got a mortgage to pay. 

We tore the instructions to shreds, and then, Lord, have mercy, we bowled. [referencing an earlier portion where they began taking “off the bumpers” of life.]

Ken quit Hollywood and began freelancing for film startups and marketing firms. I left the ad agency and filled in the pay gap with income from my blog. I began producing an independent design zine. We visited gallery shows and shopped artist warehouse sales. We went to the pier, over the Ferris Wheel, to the shore. We held hands in the grocery store. We once ate a pint of ice cream for dinner. For dinner!

…It was not without work. It was not all fun and games. It was not effortless, discarding the rules you’d memorized as a kid. There’s a reason those bumpers exist – so our balls don’t end up in the gutters. But Ken and I would never again step back into our life of fast, our Hollywood rat race, our productivity spin cycle. We had come to love our slower life – a life less stressed, less scheduling, less stifling.

For the first time in my life, I was beginning to see the appeal of less.” Erin Loechner from Chasing Slow

What do you think?

I would love some input from you! What are ways we can purposefully CHASE SLOW?

And, what books help you keep this mentality? I need to keep reading for motivation and inspiration to keep saying NO to the things I need to say no to in order to say YES to what is best for this season.

Facebook Live Video Discussion

Five Simple Resources to Help Detoxify Your Home

 

I recently held a facebook place on DITCHING THE TOXINS in our homes. I followed up with a facebook live video telling about the products I use every single day in our home that are GOOD for our health and aren’t bringing toxins into the home. I had several people ask me to create a list of these items!

Do you know what the most toxic items are in your home? I can name a few of the worst offenders: fabric softener, detergent, deodorant, cleaners…

5 Simple Resources for Detoxifying Your Home

This blog post will cover the following 5 resources!

  1. An app to use on your phone
  2. A Household Cleaner you can use to replace ALL other cleaners
  3. Homemade Deodorant Recipe
  4. Young Living Starter Kit
  5. Free 14-day Email Course on Essential Oils
  6. Bonus Tip: Dr. Bronner’s for all the things

Resources for Detoxifying Your Home

A Helpful App

A friend told me about this app: Think Dirty App (Dirty means TOXINS, y’all.) And it is SO EYE OPENING. Warning: Do not start scanning products in your home unless you are ready to make some big changes. You can use this app to scan bar codes of items such as shampoo, make up, dish soap, tooth paste, detergent and more. It will then give you a rating. A lot of things in my home were 9s and 10s. That is the worst rating there is! I’m slowly working to replace all the items that were that high.

One Household Cleaner

The Cleaner to Replace ALL your other cleaners: The Thieves Household Cleaner can literally be used on everything in your home! With ONE CLEANER you can replace all the bad stuff!

Here is the awesome thing about the Thieves cleaner — one bottle of CONCENTRATE costs $22 (wholesale price.) You can use this bottle of cleaner for nearly a year depending on how much you clean at your house. {grin} You pour ONE-TWO CAPFULS of the concentrate into a regular sized spray bottle, then fill with water. That’s it!

Homemade Deodorant That Works

Did you know that most deodorants purchased at the grocery store have aluminum in them? Did you know that aluminum is linked with cancer and Alzheimer’s? Yet we rub it on our bodies every single day.

I have tried several natural or organic deodorants over the years. In the last 2 months I have tried Tom’s, Kiss My Face, and Young Living brand deodorants. None of them have kept me from stinking, unfortunately. I apologize to my friends who have hugged me in the last few months. YIKES.

Well, my friend Denise has been making this deodorant for years now. I actually tried it a few years ago and couldn’t get used to rubbing it on with my hands. Well, I was desperate so I tried it again. It only took a few minutes to heat the ingredients and mix it up. Then, you wait a few hours for it to “set” and harden…

I’ve used this deodorant now for a few weeks. I have walked and jogged and lifted weights. I have helped a friend pack up her house. I have done my normal everyday stuff. And I’m so excited to tell you that I haven’t been stinky!!! HA!!

Feel free to grab her recipe and print a copy for yourself!

Natural Deoderant PDf

Starter Kit from Young Living

If you have the starter kit and the Thieves cleaner you can rid your home of 90% of the toxins! 

When Dr. Edie told us this in a class, I was shocked. And I was encouraged. You see, I get really overwhelmed when I look at that app and start seeing all the bad stuff in my home. But, in just a few weeks time I have realized that I am making baby steps and every single step is ONE STEP in the right direction!!

The reason the starter kit can help you to rid your home of toxins is that included in this kit are amazing oils that will help replace other things in your home.

Lavender can replace other products you use for cuts and bruises.

Lemon can replace the flavoring you put in your water.

Thieves can replace any germ fighting product you may use on your own bodies and in cleaning your home.

Frankincense can be used to improve your skin.

And on and on…

Go here to sign up as a wholesale member by purchasing a premium starter kit! 

Look at this picture of all you get in the starter kit! Woo-hoo!

Resources I Use with My Oils

Carrier Oil – I love using ROLLER BOTTLES on my oils because I can add my own blends and also add a carrier oil to DILUTE the oil and make it last longer! It also goes on much easier with the roller top. This fractionated coconut oil is what I’ve been using as my carrier oil for the last year.

Roller Bottles – The BEST roller bottle tops are the stainless ones from Young Living that fit directly onto a YL bottle. The roller ball is stainless and it so much smoother than the plastic or anything else I’ve found. You can get a package of 10 for 9.95 I believe. (You get at least one in your starter kit!) I have ordered these pretty roller bottles as gifts for Christmas! They are very pretty.

Diffusers – I have multiple Young Living diffusers in my home and love them. I also have a few from Amazon that have worked really well too! I have this one, which has lasted more than a year so far. We had this one and loved it as well!  And  yet one more we’ve had for over a year and it’s still going strong! (WHY YES, I love diffusers and have them in every bedroom and our living areas!! I believe in the power of aromatherapy that much!)

Oils I Use Every Single Day – these are all the oils I use on a DAILY basis

Free 14 Day Email Course

FREE EMAIL COURSE from Dr. Edie Wadsworth — every other day or so you will receive an email telling you about one of the oils in the starter kit! If you’re curious about HOW to use the various oils that come in the starter kit (11 oils in all!!!) then this series will really help you to figure it out!

Bonus Tip – Dr. Bronner’s Soap

So here is another EASY way to get rid of some toxins in your home! A few years ago I wrote this post about TEN WAYS I USE THIS SOAP IN MY HOME. Woo-hoo!!

Click here to see the 10 ways we’ve used this soap in our home. The great thing about this soap is you can create your own face wash, body wash, hand soap, etc, but just diluting it, putting it in a hand pump by the sink and adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil! So much better for you than the store bought soaps with the fragrance added!

Tell me what is your favorite resource for detoxifying your home? 

 

Happiness and the Christian

Are Christians supposed to be happy? Are happiness and joy really that different? What exactly *is* the difference? Aren’t we supposed to strive for holiness more than happiness? Was Jesus happy on earth? Is God happy?

The gospel is good news, right? If we believe it to be such, I think living lives of misery likely doesn’t do much toward showing others the love of Jesus.

My ideas about happiness have certainly changed in the last year or so. It started when I read The Happniess Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee. Her message so deeply resonated with me that I blogged about it, I led an online book club through it and I’ve given the book as gifts. The message has been further applied in my life as I have read 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life and 60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy by Randy Alcorn.

“Among Christ-followers, happiness was once a positive, desirable word. Only in recent times have happiness and joy been set in contrast with each other. This isn’t just biblically and historically ungrounded; it has undermined our understanding of merriment, pleasure, and joy. Are laughter, celebration, and happiness God-created gifts, or are they ambushes from Satan and our sin nature that incur God’s disapproval? Our answer determines whether our faith in God is dragged forward by duty or propelled by delight.” Randy Alcorn from 60 Days of Happiness.

I knew that my life as a believer would include suffering. I knew that Jesus suffered and so would we. I honestly thought that God desired my holiness and NOT my happiness.

God does call us to holiness, of course, YES. But, through our lives of obedience and service and living out the uniqueness of who God has made us to be…there is joy. There is happiness.

I don’t think that there truly is so much difference between joy and happiness. I think we use those words interchangeably and try to make joy sound a little holier. {grin} Not that there is anything wrong with choosing our words carefully or feeling strongly about certain words.

Did you know the Bible references happiness?

Have you ever read this famous passage from Matthew?

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed = Happy

In the original language, the word that Jesus is using in this passage means happy. Hmmm. Although He uses the word happy, the things he tells us will make us happy are not traditionally thought of us happy things. Oh, but that is the way of the cross…that is the way of Jesus…and I think that is the key to understanding happiness as a Christian.

Happiness doesn’t look like what the world says happiness is. As believers, we can find happiness {and joy!} in things that the world may think are crazy. 

For the JOY set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. (Hebrews 12)

Finding joy in giving of your life on a cross?

There is joy to be found in living a life of love. Jesus was the perfect and ultimate example.

There is joy to be found even in sorrow.

There is happiness to be found in obedience.

There is a deep seated happiness in knowing our eternity is secure.

There is a blessedness in knowing Jesus and reminding our hearts that we are never alone.

Let’s take back the word HAPPY

So, I say it’s time that we, as believers, TAKE BACK the word happy. Let’s not look at it as a bad word. Let’s remind our hearts that joy and happiness can be very similar and both can be wonderful benefits of living a life in Jesus. Let’s not look condescendingly at people who use the word happy, but on the same token, if someone has a conviction about the word let’s show grace. Either way: grace. Whether you like the word happy or you don’t, there is grace for you.

And you know what? Grace is one of the ultimate happy gifts of Christ. Let’s enjoy Him.

Be small

“For you died and your life is now hidden in Christ.” Colossians 3:3

Recently, God asked a question of me and it took me awhile to answer…but I think I’m becoming more and more OK with the answers.

I heard the Lord say, “Are you OK with being small?”

After coming back from the Teach Them Diligently conference I was ready to quit blogging all together. I met so many wonderful bloggers there and it was a HUGE blessing. But, I found myself wondering what I have to offer anyone. And, God reminded me that His ways are not my ways.

And I heard the words, “Are you OK with being small?

He reminded me that He calls me to bloom where I am planted, He chooses the location. I am obedient.

He reminded me that Jesus told His disciples that the last would be first. He washed their feet.

At the time, this lesson was personal for me in regard to blogging…am I OK with sharing the message God has given me here on my blog if I never gain another follower? Am I OK with being who God created me to be for an audience of One?