Thoughts on Psalm One and Finding Time in God’s Word when Life Feels Busy

Around this time last year I was so blessed to go to a women’s retreat where we were talking about God’s Word and how important it is to be in His word and delighting ourselves in it. One of the things we did was take time to share ideas about how to make time to be with Jesus in the busyness of life. 

It’s funny because before now I wouldn’t have thought that being home like we are in this quarantine season would feel busier than life was before, but in some strange way it is.

I think having all of my family home all the time takes an extra effort to think about each day, extra planning for meals, and then just extra relationship time needed, we all have this weird emotional thing under the surface right now that pops up and man we just need Jesus. With all the extra that’s needed right now, more than anything I need extra of Him. We’ve all heard that phrase that it’s hard to pour out if you’re not pouring in

I absolutely love to serve others and my family but if my motivation isn’t pouring out from love it’s only a matter of time before there’s going to be some kind of interesting problem starting with me about to explode in my house. And if any of you have tried to watch a virtual church service at home right now with little ones around you know it’s not exactly the same as when we get to be there in person. For one thing, most of the time when you’re there in person no one normally asks you for a snack during the study haha. Anyway, I’m just saying, I need extra effort and creativity to make sure I’m getting that time with Jesus right now. 

One of my favorite verses talking about being in the Word is the first Psalm. 

“Blessed is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper. “

Psalm 1: Vs 1-3

I love how the psalmist mentions that the blessed man (or woman 😉 ) has their delight in the Word. For me, thinking about things I delight in, helps me to get an idea of how I can get more time in the Word. So, for example, I really like chocolate. But I’m not gonna just eat a bunch of chocolate, it makes me feel kind of sick on an empty stomach plus I’ll probably give myself some kind of guilt trip because I should be eating healthier. So, I would probably tell myself–I’m gonna eat a salad first. I’m sorry that you have to hear my silly mind but hey, the point is because I delight in the chocolate, I make plans for it. In the same way, because I delight in God’s word, I should make plans for how I can spend that time in it. 

So, we’ve had a few weeks of this quarantine now, and I’m kind of getting an idea of how life is looking different in this season for our family. Where before it was easier for me to get up earlier and make sure I had the time, lately we’ve been up later because my kids are up later, and then my husband and I want to stay up even later so we can hang. And I know I could technically still wake up early but just being real– I’m grumpy if I don’t get enough sleep. So, taking all that into consideration I have to make a plan.

So, to delight myself in God’s word, I want to plan to get as much time in it as I can. I can’t bank on just “happening upon it”.  I’ve got to plan for it because it is so important.

Something that really helps me is to see that plan as a date. If you and I had planned to go to coffee at nine, I’m going to arrange my plans to make sure I’m there and not cancel for just any little reason. The same should be even more true with spending time with Jesus. He is a real Person, and the most important Person in my life, why do I so easily postpone that time with Him?

So, right now, I still plan for that time with Jesus in the morning, but it does happen a little bit later and isn’t always the quietest. If I’m not able to read before the kiddos are up, something we’ve been doing is letting them have their devotional time too watching “What’s in the Bible” in the morning and I can sit with them while they watch and spend my time with Jesus at the same time. 

But then, I also need the extra. 

Because I’m delighting in His word, like the chocolate that I may try to eat without my kids catching me because I don’t want to share (haha), I also want to sneak away when I can to read, or listen to it when I can’t be reading like listening to a podcast, or meditate on it while I’m doing other things.

Something my friend recommended is that she writes down a verse on a index card that stood out in her reading and  keeps that verse on her throughout out the day so that she can look at it and meditate on it. Another friend does a similar thing but puts the verse up in the kitchen so when she’s cooking she can read it. I like to listen to Bible studies when I’m doing housework and taking extra time reading when my baby is napping. Another friend of mine who doesn’t have little ones yet plans “extra indulgence days” where she clears her schedule from everything and goes to a secluded place to spend extra extra time in the Word, which sounds amazing.

Going back to Psalm 1,if we’re really delighting in God’s word, there’s such a beautiful picture of what’s going to take place in our lives.

He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

Psalm 1:3

The psalmist compares us who delight in God’s Word to a tree, and there are some special things about us as this tree. 

First, we are planted by water, so we’re healthy, we’ve got a source of life coming to us. We’re stable, not needy, because we’ve already got what we need. I don’t know about you.. but I can be so needy :/. But the good news is all of my needs really can be satisfied in Jesus.

I think of the story of the Samaritan woman in the Bible…

She came to draw water in the heat of the day and Jesus asks her for water and she is surprised that He would be asking her. He tells her that if she knew who He was, she would ask Him for water and He would give her living water.

She at first looks at the physical, and is like, “How are you gonna give me water ? The well is deep and you don’t have a bucket.”

Sometimes I can relate, if I’m honest, looking just at the physical…

How can reading the word right now help me ? How is it going to get me any further in solving this problem I’m in? But the problem is I’m forgetting the spiritual… the word is Jesus, He is alive, He is my salvation not just from death, but today, in my circumstances He is able to redeem and bring life. 

In John 4:14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

She asks Him for it and in their conversation He reveals much about her, and  leaving their encounter she runs into the city proclaiming Him as the Messiah and how He told her everything about herself.

We know The Word is Jesus– and we can have the same encounter with Him when we’re in it. 

Another thing we see about this tree is that it brings forth fruit in its season and that it’s leaf doesn’t wither. I think part of that fruit is the ability to really serve and love the people around us. Or whatever the fruit is God desires to bring forth in the right season. But, in the hard times, the bad weather, the trial, the difficulty, we’re still ok. Walking through this pandemic, we’re still ok, better than that even– our leaves can remain green.  And wow how your green leaf in the hard time ministers to others, they see it and they wonder what’s different.  And we know that it’s our God that is with us and sustains us.

The last thing the psalmist points out about this tree is whatever it does– prospers. Not a material prosperity, a purposeful prosperity. A prosperity where whatever’s going on is going to work out for the good. The Romans 8:28 kind of prosperity And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” 

It says not that some things, but all things will work together for those who love God. 

This is my prayer for us, that in the midst of this season we could be beautiful, healthy green trees with leaves even in a drought, satisfied and content in Jesus and able to produce the good things that God is leading us to do, ministering in our homes and where He leads and pointing others to the only One that can satisfy them too.

Here’s some ideas to get extra time in God’s Word and please comment and let me know if you have an idea I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear it! 

  • Set a “date” and keep it (like when you make plans with someone important to you) and guard this time
  • Let others in your home know about your date and ask them to please respect your time with the Lord (kids learn from this too and may want to have their own time with Jesus) 
  • Listen and sing a worship song before reading to help get your focus on the Lord
  • Get an accountability partner you check in with daily or regularly (“Lets text every morning at 9 and remind each other to get in the Word!”)
  • Pick a private not too comfortable place if you struggle with snoozing while reading 
  • Minimize distractions.Put your phone away or on airplane mode. You can set yourself up for success by keeping all of your devotional materials, pens, notebooks, Bible in one place.. Keep scrap papers to write out “to do’s” that pop up while you are trying to study. 
  • Keep Bibles/Devotionals open around the house (good for busy moms! It’s not clutter is spiritual survival 😀 )
  • Throughout the day listen to podcasts/devotions (can listen while driving, going on walks, doing dishes, laundry, getting ready for the day) 
  • Write scripture that jumps out to you on index cards and keep with you to work on memorizing throughout the day, or post them around the house.

With Love,

Angelina

“So, Where did you Meet?”

“So, where did you meet?”

I have to be honest, I love telling “our” story. Even though most of the time I’ll default to letting Brennan tell it because it makes me feel so shy. But it’s just so fun to get to share, “Oh, we met in El Salvador.” Like, no big deal. Haha, sometimes I can play it pretty cool but most of the time  I still nerd out about it. It really is a big deal, because I still think it’s just so cool that God brought me all the way out of the country to meet the man who would be my husband. God writes the best love stories.

I decided to post about it now because Brennan reminded me that it was around this time of year eleven years ago when God really put it on his heart that he needed to ask for permission to marry me. It was the sweetest thing, it was at a Good Friday service at church. Brennan was praying and God impressed on his heart that he hadn’t asked my dad for permission to marry me yet. 

My dad at the time wasn’t very involved in my life, so Brennan didn’t get it, and was asking God, “How? Her dad doesn’t seem to even care?” But God replied to him, “No, you need to ask ME.”

This part of our story is so sweet and important for me because God was taking care of me. I love to be able to share it because I know that there are a lot of girls out there that may not have parents or dad’s looking out for them. I want you to know God will look out for you. He is the best Father you could imagine.

But, I have to backtrack a little to when we first met. At that time, I was just starting to really walk with the Lord. I had been going to church for a little while, but still very much walking “one foot in the church, one foot in the world” as churchy people say. For a while I had no idea what Brennan was even talking about most of the time because I didn’t speak the lingo yet. He’d use an expression like, “God’s got his eye on the sparrow,” to encourage me not to worry, and I was like, what the heck is he talking about. Haha, but anyway back to the story. You know what I mean, I was going to church but I hadn’t truly surrendered my life to Jesus yet. So, one night, when my one foot was in the church, I heard about a mission trip to El Salvador and I knew right away that I was supposed to go.

 I started saving money and making plans but so many obstacles started popping up. God is so amazing and He blew the obstacles out of the water for me to get there. It was crazy, like on the way to the airport, I got a flat tire. At the airport, my name was spelled wrong on the ticket, and then when the customer service agent re-booked it under my real name–I got bumped off the flight because someone else booked at that same exact second. God even worked that out and I got there.

On that  trip God did so much in my heart and it was just an over the top blessing that it was where I met Brennan too. While I was there, God called me out of my “one foot in the church, one foot in the world” lifestyle of hypocrisy I had been living in. He called me into full surrender with Him. There were a lot of implications in that, because my lifestyle hadn’t been sincere, so much had to change. The changes or things I “gave up” though all pale in comparison to all Jesus has done for me and the abundance of blessing in knowing Him. It was on that trip too that I realized my burden for missions.

Brennan and I got to meet because he was our host missionary on the trip. He had been there for 6 months, and was leading us on our outreaches. I noticed him right away for sure, his love for God and for the people there stuck out to me so much. But I never considered that someone like him would be interested in me. Like, I need a really tall ladder to get to his level type thing. I wasn’t single at the time either, but that was something God was calling me out of, because the other person wasn’t interested in knowing God, which was becoming the most important thing to me. 

There was only one other lady on the mission trip, so we got to spend all of our time together. God used her so much in my life, she was so bold, to be honest, she called me out on my sin. And it was so uncomfortable. But I thank God for her. There was a lot to call out, but most notably, she would call me out about my relationship, and show me the scripture about not being unequally yoked. I’d never heard those scriptures before but the Holy Spirit had been ministering to me for months that our relationship was not something pleasing to God. I now saw the truth in God’s word. She would ask me what I was going to do about it. Even crazier, most of the other thirteen people on the trip sat down with me at some point on the week long trip and shared with me about their marriages and how they couldn’t do what they did without the support of their wives, and what a blessing it was to be in a marriage where you both loved the Lord. They shared that with me without even knowing the situation I was in.

Can you believe how amazing God is?  He brought me all the way to El Salvador, made it perfectly clear that I was in sin, but showed me that there was a way out. He also began to put a passion for missions on my heart, taught me about what a marriage could be like, and even introduced me to my husband, all on the same trip. Like BAM, get both feet in. So, it was a really good trip. 

When I got back home from El Salvador, our patient God even gave me an illustration in case I hadn’t heard yet. At church, the first sermon I heard when I got home, our pastor talked about this monkey trap.

He explained that in this trap there was a piece of wood with a hole in it, and behind the hole there was a big piece of fruit. The monkey could get his hand in and out of the hole as long as he wasn’t trying to hold on to the fruit too. Once he grabbed the fruit, he couldn’t get his hand back out. The monkey gets trapped though because he won’t let it go. When we are holding on to sin but trying to serve the Lord too, we won’t ever really be able be free. I knew God was speaking to me, and I was done living how I had been. He helped me to get out of the situation I was in and I began pursuing God with all my heart, not holding on to other things anymore.

Soon after, Brennan came home to the US to renew his visa, and during that time we found ourselves at all of the same church events, and before he went back to El Salvador again we knew that God was calling us to get married. 

Normally when we are together and sharing our story, Brennan shares all the sappy details, I get too shy about it. His favorite part to share is that one day we were doing a Bible study together in the book of Ruth and I told him I would follow him anywhere. My favorite part though, the most important thing to me, was that I was afraid of someone coming in between my relationship with the Lord again. But God made it really clear that this time, this man loved Him more than he loved me, and it wouldnt be like that. 

Anyway, this it seems so long ago now, and it was just the start. I can’t believe it’s really been around eleven years now since we first started dating, and to some that’s a little bit of time and to some it seems a lot. So much has happened in those few years. From moving as an engaged couple to Montana, to getting married and moving three months later to Mexico–pregnant! Almost eight years in Mexico, almost two in New Hampshire, and back to the West Coast and 4 kids later. Life with Jesus is such a blessing and adventure. I know technically this is our marriage love story, but it’s really God’s story. One of the many many many stories He’s writing. I had no idea when I surrendered everything to Jesus the good plans He had ahead, but to have the relationship with Him was all that was really important, all the other other stuff, even our story is just a blessing on top. I think it’s so important right now to remember the good things God’s done, He is so faithful and will continue to be. And there’s so much more good ahead to look forward to in our relationships with Him and seeing the stories He’s writing. 

God writes the best love stories
11 years later

Our Essential Family Schedule

One of my most constant struggles is doing versus being. The classic Christian internal, “Are you Mary or Martha?” question. Even though I know the right answer is to be Mary, my natural tendency always leads me to Martha first and then I have to seriously track back. You’d think I’d notice this about myself and be quicker to surrender but man I fall into this cycle a lot.

It rolled out pretty quick when we first heard that the quarantine was going to begin–you know that I made a schedule for my family right away for how we would handle the day to day. I laughed so hard because someone put out a “whats your Enneagram type during quarantine” video and it showed the type 1 making a schedule. Yep, that’s me. I tried to be realistic in my planning and considerate of what we needed, like time for Bible study, being outside, chores, homework, rest, regular work, play…

It was a good idea, but it did not go as planned. What was really funny too was that my kids were actually trying to enforce it. Like, “Mom, it’s 10, aren’t we supposed to be on our walk?”

The truth was my focus was all over the place, and I was fighting against my own schedule that I had tried to make. I didn’t even want to follow it. I felt so strange and distracted. Trying to navigate this time with my own understanding, I was fighting to make a normal in my own perspective out of what just isn’t normal. I’ve never walked through this before, why should I pretend I have an idea what I’m doing?

I needed to get Martha in the back seat again and just let go and surrender. What really is essential for our family during this time that isn’t normal? I can’t ask myself; I need to ask the One Who is really in control here and recognize that I never was. And finally have some peace because I needed my eyes back on Him.

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.”

Isaiah 26:3

The same thing that was always essential before is what is essential now. The abiding in Jesus. If that is all we get done today as a family, that’s all we need. I know we can’t force that on other people in our home, but we can control whether we will. It’s so essential that I’m in God’s word and praying right now. I need to let whatever “doing” happens flow from that time with Him, following what He has today, because He knows what really is important. That’s how my schedule needs to be made each day.

It’s essential that I’m loving Him and really loving others too. Only Jesus can really show me how my family needs to be loved right now. With my focus off I don’t feel like I’ve been doing so great at that, but I’m so grateful for His grace and forgiveness and opportunity He gives to try again. We are walking through a time unlike any before, and I don’t want to miss what God has for us in it.

So, here is how I’m trying again…

The schedule is out the window you guys. I’m not talking about being lazy, I know some things still absolutely need to get done, but I’m talking about surrendering. The essentials are first and most important, for me that’s my time with the Lord and doing a short study with our kids and praying together. I’m going to let Him lead, if we end up doing some stuff on my original schedule—awesome, but it’s His idea, not mine. With doing the things that can’t go, like homework, I’m doing it unto Him, like it should be done.

And I’m putting down my phone more. I realized a big reason my focus has been off is because I’m distracted worrying that I’m missing some kind of connection or information I need to have. That information will still be there in an hour, I don’t need to have my phone on me all the time. Everything is on screens right now… church, relationships, school, work, shopping… but it’s more than okay to take a break and just be present in the moment you’re in, to be present with Jesus and with those in your home.

This weekend we get to celebrate that He is alive! While this Easter looks so much different than previous ones, we still have the only thing that was ever truly important about it—our alive Savior. And I want to be present with Him!

Creating a Portable Prayer Closet and Thoughts on Organizing Prayer Requests

edit: I just want to add a quick disclaimer that this post is meant to just be a tool to your already established prayer time that’s led by the Lord. It’s not a post describing in detail about prayer, or the importance of prayer, but I’d love post something like that in the future. This post is a tool for organizing prayer requests and things that are already on your heart to be praying.

A few years ago I realized I really wanted to find a way to “organize” my prayer life. I’m gonna go ahead and apologize now for being so hopelessly type A.

But, you know how when you bump into someone and they say something like, “Oh my gosh, hey, thank you so much for praying for me! This and this has happened and I’m so thankful for your prayers!” And you smile and say praise the Lord as your mind flashes back to that moment last month you said you’d pray for them and utterly forgot? Oh that’s never happened to you? Okay well you can stop here then. Haha, no keep reading– this can still help you !

For that particular situation, I’ve learned to just stop right there and pray with the person at the moment we’re talking about it. But, now I also send myself an email as a reminder to keep praying, and then I add that prayer request to my prayer binder later.

I think of my prayer binder as my portable prayer closet. I’ve never really had an extra closet or space to be able to use specifically for prayer, so I just started keeping all my prayer stuff in a binder so I could take it with me during my devotion time to wherever happens to be quiet in the house at the moment.

I honestly love having it, because it helps me to stay focused and to make sure I’m remembering certain prayer requests. A lot of times, I’m praying in the early morning and I can forget what I was hoping to be praying about. Plus I have mom brain, which is real.

Exhibit A: Why I need page protectors…
an adorable hand drawing on my stuff.

It’s really simple to make one, all you need is a three ring binder, paper and dividers. I also use page protectors because my people like to draw all over my stuff.

Before I tell you how I organize mine, I just want to start off by saying at first, it may seem a little much or overwhelming. Mine started small and I built it over time, so if you want to make one, don’t feel like you have to have all the details together right now. It is something you can start and keep building on. This is what mine looks like, but as you pray about what’s important to keep in yours, it may look much different than mine.

How I organize my prayer binder: 

First, I have a Weekly Prayer List that’s labeled with each day of the week. This was the first prayer organizational step I ever took, and for a while it was all that I had in my prayer binder. A pastor’s wife in Mexico shared this tip at a ladies Bible study and since then I make one and update it every year. I used to wonder how people could say that they would pray for this and that and the other thing, I couldn’t figure out how they had all the time or how they could remember. Separating topics and names throughout the week really helps me. I write certain topics or people’s names(for example, if someone asks me for prayer, I don’t write the request, just their name helps me to remember). I also include all my family, many friends, ministry leaders and pastors at my church, missionaries, and local churches.

Blank Weekly Prayer List

Some general topics I include: Salvation, The Persecuted Church, Illnesses and Healing, Work, School, and Personal Ministry. In these general topics I just ask God to help jog my thoughts towards people that may need prayer.

The Next Section I have is my Every Day Prayer List.

Blank Daily Prayer List

This section is pretty personal and contains bullet points for things I want to see developed in my life. For example, my list includes:

-Living to please God today

-Compassion

-Loving God with all my heart and others as myself

-Sincere close walk with God for my family

-Opportunities, Boldness and Love in ministering and witnessing

-My children and my husband

I also include a Personal Prayer List for Each of my Kids and Husband

My husband’s list I go through every day. Most of what’s on it I copied from Kay Smith’s book “The Privilege” which is one of my favorites. 

Some of the things she suggests to pray are:

-Wisdom what to teach and sensitivity to the needs of the hearers

-Strength in temptation

-Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding of God’s will (Col 1:9)

-Wisdom in parenting and leading our home, blessing on our marriage

-That he would be aware of God’s nearness

On my kids’s lists:

I keep a list of Bible verses that God has put on my heart and pray them for my kids. I normally will write out the verse in a way to personalize it for them. 

I have some verses that I pray over all of them, for example, I have written “May they be like trees planted by rivers of water, that send out their roots by the stream,and do not fear when heat comes, for their leaves remain green–and they are not anxious in the year of drought, for they do not cease to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:8

And then I have some verses that are specific for each kiddo, like for my youngest son, I have 1 Timothy 4:12,”Let no one despise his youth, but may he set an example in speech, conduct, faith and purity”. 

I add on to these lists as the verses come up or are put on my heart for each person. 

Next I have a yearly prayer list.

This section includes big goals I’d prayerfully like to accomplish this year. Some that made my list this year included starting a blog (check ✔–but still needs prayer) and hopefully getting rid of all our credit cards. I pray for this list once a week, I have it written in on my weekly prayer list, “pray for yearly goals”.

Also on this list I have my verse that I picked for the year. My verse this year is 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Other things I keep in my binder:

–Important verses or prayer strategies I have in their own section. For example, a couple years ago I did Priscilla Shirer’s “Armor of God” Bible study and it came with prayer cards, I have those in that section. This really comes in handy during hard times to have these verses already together. 

–Scrap Paper or Sticky Notes. Without fail, when I’m praying things will pop in my head to do. It may be something God is leading to me do through prayer, like call a certain friend and check on them for example. Sometimes its just a silly thing, like oh yeah its trash day. So, I keep the sticky notes in my binder so I can write these things down so I won’t forget and can fight the temptation to stop and do it right then. Afterwards I have an already started  to-do list which you know my type A loves. 

–A section with blank paper, in case I want to do some journaling or blog writing.

–General “wish lists”– I started this back when we lived in Mexico. When we first moved we were newly married and started off with a small amount of personal things. People were so sweet when they would come visit and ask what we needed. A lot of times I couldn’t even think of what those things were. So, I started keeping a list when I realized, “Oh we need some tongs” or something like that. I don’t necessarily pray over this list often, because we don’t have major things that we need, but I do have hopes for home organization and things like that. It’s fun to dream and really cool to look back at the end of the year and see God’s provision. 

–Something I’m planning to add is a thankfulness list. I do normally just pray what I’m thankful for, but I would love to start keeping a list of answered prayers or things to thank God about. 

So, that’s my prayer binder! I love it. But, it’s all really just a guide. It helps me stay on track, but I definitely do veer off because we’re talking about talking to God, He’s alive and responds, His Holy Spirit leads us, and prayer is having a conversation, not just a list of things that we bring to Him. So, the binder isn’t meant to be binding. It’s just a tool that has helped me and I hope some of the ideas can be a blessing to your prayer life as well!

“I can’t see the Forest for the Trees”

I can't see the forest for the trees

Recently I couldn’t help but rethink and rethink a conversation that I’d had with a friend. She asked me how something had been going, and I said, “good.” Just good, and changed the subject. 

Later, I think I kept rethinking it because I didn’t elaborate, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I had lied in saying it was good. I can not tell a lie, I mean morally I know its wrong, but what I mean is I’m actually terrible at lying, like not even a white lie. And so to think that I might have lied so simply was baffling to me.

The full truth was that the situation had actually been one the most difficult things I’d ever experienced or walked through, and in many ways am still walking through. In thinking through it though, I realized saying, “Good” actually wasn’t dishonest. So, my bad lying skills are in tact.

You’re thinking–I just said it was such a difficult thing, so how was saying, “Good” the truth then, right? 

Well–it was good. Just not at first glance, on the surface. Looking closer, it was good for my faith, good to see that God was with me, and to see once again that He is everything I need.

I like to think of it like, I was in a situation where I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. But even though I couldn’t see the forest, I still knew it was there. 

My forest is God’s goodness, God’s plan that is sure and that reminds me that the circumstances I’m in didn’t just somehow happen by chance. God is sure, trustworthy, faithful, good and with purpose. 

This conversation happened way before the current situation we’re walking through right now with COVID and quarantines. But I felt it was still important to write, because it’s still true. It’s not by chance at all that we are where we are. Right now, many of us are walking through this pandemic and if we’re honest, if someone asked us how we’re doing, our response wouldn’t exactly be ushy-gushy.

I’m battling fear, dealing with sadness being separated from loved ones, worried about sickness in other loved ones, meanwhile, my kids are eating every ounce of food in our house, and still asking for a snack (boys :/ ).

Some of the trees or circumstances around us right now can be pretty ominous looking. And if it wasn’t for the few flowers sprouting up, we could possibly forget where we are entirely. Sometimes if I’m honest, I do forget and have to remind myself.

I’m so thankful for those flowers or  encouragements that pop up. Like hearing some good news, or talking with a friend, laughing with my family, maybe eating some chocolate and komboucha (dont judge me). But what I realized in my earlier circumstance, is that the only flower, or encouragement I actually need, I already have, I don’t have to wait for it to pop up.  It’s the truth that God is with me. 

God is with us. And sometimes that may be the only “flower” we have to remind us where we are. But that is really all we need. That’s all it takes to remember where we are, who we are, and Whose forest we’re in. Knowing the Lord we can have that confidence. We have the assurance of who He is, His faithfulness, His purpose. And He is going to be faithful to guide us through.

I’m not trying to say we need to go around saying this situation is so “good” but, God is good, and He is with us, and that my friend is always good. 

Psalm 16 says vs 7-8,

“I will bless the Lord who guides me;

    even at night my heart instructs me.

I know the Lord is always with me.

 I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”

Hi, thanks for checking out my blog!

This blog has been a prayer project of mine for what seems like f o r e v e r. I’ve been dreaming of being able to write and encourage ladies in whatever season life finds you in.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I recently started this project after having a strong desire for a long time to encourage women through writing. Through different seasons of life I’ve leaned so much on authors and blogs for encouragement and advice, especially when I lived in a country where I couldn’t speak the language yet. Those writings were such an encouragement to me and still are. I hope that I can be there for others as well.

In the last ten years I’ve been through so many different types of seasons, as I’m sure you have too. From being newly married and serving on the mission field in Mexico, to raising three small children in a foreign country and learning how to be a mom and wife in that context. Soon after we moved back to the US to New England, to help with a church plant with my now four sweet kiddos. To most recently moving and starting over again here on the West Coast.

In each place I’ve met wonderful people and also found so much comfort in those relationships where you can just rest for a minute, plop down on a friend’s coach and just be real. Like–no makeup, laundry not put away, let me reheat you some coffee in the microwave, I’m sorry for the smell coming from my trash can kind of real.

I’ve also had periods of time where there wasn’t a relationship like that to be found, nor was I really a friend like that myself. That’s where the heart of this blog comes from. I hope it can be like a place next door that you can come with no pretense, a place to be built up in your faith, to rest, laugh, be encouraged and have a friend to do life with.

I’m a daughter of the King, a wife to my best friend, a mom to three handsome, loud and hilarious boys, and one sweet and sassy princess. I’m also a preschool teacher finishing my degree in education, and I love to write in my free time. Above all else, I love Jesus and my life is set out to follow Him and love others, and let everything else fall into place.